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Fine Arts Student of the Week: Loss a winner with his trombone: Senior plans to study music education, hopes to become band director

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Brainerd High School senior Joey Loss (left) plays the trombone during Jazz Ensemble I. He was named this week's Fine Arts Student of the Week. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch2 / 2

Adviser nomination: "Joey is an exceptional musician in the BHS Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble I. He is sectional leader and is the principle player in both ensembles as well as a 'Best in Site' winner at Solo/Ensemble Contest in 2017-18 and 2018-19. He recently won the Heartland Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition."

Memorable fine arts achievement: Winning the Heartland Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition. Loss will be awarded a $500 scholarship toward continuing his musical studies. Loss will attend rehearsals and perform with the HSO in the upcoming spring concert series "The Joy of Youth" at April 6 at Charles D. Martin Auditorium at Little Falls Community High School and April 7 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

Artists most admired: Percy Grainger and Gustav Holst, both composers and Wycliffe Gordon, a trombonist.

Other fine arts activities: Symphonic band, band aide, Advanced Placement music theory, a band officer and treasurer of all the BHS bands; and outside of school—Greater Lakes Area Performings Arts community theater pit orchestra and Rusty Crayfish Brass Band.

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Joey Loss

  • Grade: Senior.
  • Age: 18.
  • Art focus: Brainerd High School band

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What instruments do you play?: "I've played the trombone since sixth grade and it is my main instrument. I began playing bass clarinet this past August and I play it in Symphonic Band. I also play the tuba and euphonium and I have knowledge on the clarinet and saxophone.

"I'm trying to learn them all so it will be easier in college because I'm going into music education. I want to be ... a high school band director. It kind of hit me my sophomore year that band is what I love, music is what I love and when I got into Wind Symphony my sophomore year that was the change.

"I started playing the bass clarinet because they wanted to get me on a reed instrument, as I already knew how to play the brass instruments. The bass clarinet has a big enough mouthpiece so it wouldn't affect my embouchure as much for brass so I could still be multilingual with different instruments that are from different families."

Does your family have a musical background?: "My parents, no, but I have a line of a few great-uncles and great-grandfathers who play the trombone."

Why trombone?: "It wasn't my best instrument, as I was better at percussion. Some of my friends who were a few grades ahead of me let me play their trombone a few times and I fell in love with it. I did have a feeling I would play trombone, but I tried all the instruments when we all tried the instruments in middle school.

"I really love that you can get so much diverse sounds out of it. You can play it really aggressively as it is one of the loudest instruments you can play so you get get this full, rich orchestral sound. You can then change that immediately to a very soft, ballad sound and the vibrato sounds really good. The way the slide operates, it feels really comfortable with my hands, I love that. Plus the range it has is really fun as you can play in four different octaves, at least."

Is it hard to learn bass clarinet?: "Learning the keys on the bass clarinet was definitely a change and harder, but more so getting a sound out of it. The bass clarinet is unlike a saxophone, where you can just blow right into it and there is no resistance. A bass clarinet is different and you have to use so much air and all that air doesn't necessarily produce a sound—only a small portion of that air will produce a sound. It takes more air to play the bass clarinet than it does to play the tuba. The bass clarinet you also have to play fast runs compared to with a slide, so that was a change and harder. I also had to learn to read a different clef. I was used to reading a bass clef and now I had to learn to read a treble clef.

"I am learning a lot by taking AP music theory. Music it is my most prized passion and came by accident, the reason why it makes it special. If I had to quit band I would have no idea what I would do in school, music was the interesting thing for me so I took it up.

"I'm planning to attend Concordia College of Moorhead and have a double major in music education and trombone performance."

How much time do you put into your instruments?: "Five of my classes are music classes ... I practice an hour or so every other day or whenever I get a chance. Last summer, I had a lot of free time so I played every day and I realized how much I improved before my senior year."

What was your reaction to winning HSO concerto competition?: "I didn't really know what to expect and there were three things going on that weekend that I could have played in—Concordia Honor Band, CLC (Central Lakes College) Music Festival for the honor band and the HSO Youth Concerto and I had to choose what to do.

"My reaction to winning is when I was walking out they told me it would take two to three days before I would know if I won or not. I got home, put my stuff down and within a half-hour I got a phone call and I was just shocked. They let me know in that amount of time and I was definitely surprised. I had been working on that piece for two years and hard work does pay off when you play it every day for that long. The piece I did was by composer Ferdinand David and titled 'Concertino Opus 4' for trombone. It is 15-16 minutes long.

"Mr. Fogderud gave this piece to me at the end of my sophomore year to use this for solo and ensemble contests and he let me know about the HSO. ... He thought it was a perfect piece."

How does performing make you feel?: "I usually feel confident when I'm performing. I do get a little stage fright every once in awhile when doing a solo in front of an entire auditorium as the focus is on me, but with ensemble I feel pretty confident. It's more fun than a test, to play and interact with the audience. I like to share the music with them."

Favorite subject: Humanities.

Favorite movie: "The Nun."

Favorite TV show: "The Office."

Favorite book: "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

Favorite song: "The Planets Suite" by Gustav Holst.

Favorite band: Youngblood Brass Band.

Favorite restaurant: Red Lobster.

Hobbies: Hunting, writing music, playing ice hockey and spending time with friends.

Biggest pet peeve: "I get really irritated when driving when people are not courteous when they are driving. Like if you are coming onto a highway and people don't move over or if they don't use their signal lights."

Parents: Carla and Thomas Loss of Brainerd.

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