Student Spotlight: Brooke Esgar
Coal Ridge High School senior Brooke Esgar plays five instruments in three different bands, dabbles in painting, plays soccer for the school and has a passion for engineering. She recently sat down with the Post Independent to talk about the challenge and reward of it all.
Post Independent: How did you get into band?
Brooke Esgar: In fifth grade I tried out a bunch of different instruments, and ended up liking the flute — maybe because it was so elegant looking. In high school I played the flute in concert band, but then my junior year the band needed someone to play the French horn so I learned that. I thought it would be cool to try something new. It was hard to learn, but I’ve actually gotten pretty good at it. Then I learned how to play the saxophone for the jazz band, and for marching band I learned how to play the bass drum.
PI: Does it get easier to pick up each new instrument?
BE: I think so. The switch to the horn was the hardest. The saxophone is a little like the flute in its fingerings, so that one was a little easier. I like the challenge. It’s fun to work together with everyone in the band to create something beautiful.
PI: What is each band like?
BE: In concert band we play more classical and movie music. Jazz band is smaller and more relaxed, and then marching band is fun because we get to go and do parades. I like them all.
PI: What kind of music do you listen to on your own?
BE: My parents brought me up on country music. My sister and I kind of moved into the pop. Most of the time I’m doing homework I’ll listen to band music.
PI: What about painting? How did you get into that?
BE: I’ve always been super creative. My freshman year I did basic art and really loved it. I’d mostly done sketches before, but I took classes my sophomore and junior year and learned a bunch about painting. I couldn’t fit art into my schedule this year, so I’ve been doing it at home. I normally use acrylic paints, and I still do a bunch of pencil sketches. I do a little bit of everything — people, landscapes, abstract …
PI: Is it a similar creative experience to music?
BE: It’s totally different. In band you have to think more — play the right beat and be on the right notes. Art is not as critical. You just kind of do whatever you feel like.
PI: Any other interests?
BE: I’ve been on the varsity soccer team all four years. I came in as a freshman and they needed a goalie. I had played a bit before, but my first real soccer game ended up being in Grand Junction on turf in a huge stadium. I was terrified, but I don’t even think they scored.
PI: What’s next after high school?
BE: I’m going to go to Montana State University, and I’m probably going to play in the band there. I may join the soccer team. I’m going to do electrical engineering.
PI: How did you decide on that?
BE: Both my parents and grandfather are electrical engineers, but that wasn’t why I picked it. I really like math, and I figured messing with electronics would be fun. I know there’s only going to be a few women in that field. I’m taking a solar engineering class at CMC, and I’m the only girl in there. That part doesn’t really bother me. I’m just going to go in there and learn and do my thing.
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