By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools
Emily Sholar is a self-described anxious person.
And until four years ago she struggled to deal with stress. That is when the 16-year-old sophomore at Smyrna High School discovered a calming affect that accompanied her love of playing music.
“That’s my way of coping,” Sholar said. “The more challenging the music is and the more you play — the more often you play — it just carries over.”
Sholar is one of nine musicians from Rutherford County Schools selected to partake in, perhaps, the most musically challenging opportunity of her relatively young yet promising musical career.
Sholar will be performing with the world-renowned United States Navy Band on March 16. The concert will take place in the Blackman High School gymnasium beginning at 7 p.m.
Eight other high school students — Bernard Ekwuazi, Stephanie Hensley, Devin Archibald, C.J. Walker, Melody Kinney, Josef Viramontes, Savannah Shaver and Chandler Currier — will also represent Rutherford County Schools in the two-hour concert.
The performance is free and open to the public.
Murfreesboro is one of 25 cities in 10 states to host a performance during the Navy band’s 2019 national tour.
The Navy Concert Band — nicknamed “The World’s Finest” — is the premier wind ensemble of the U.S. Navy, according to a release, and provides a wide array of marches, patriotic selections, orchestral transcriptions and modern wind ensembles repertoire. The Rutherford County students will join the band for a performance of “The Washington Post March.”
“It’s a really cool opportunity to be invited to something like this,” said Archibald, a sophomore from Eagleville.
Sholar is honored by her selection.
“It’s definitely something that not everyone gets to be a part of,” she said, “and I think once it comes around, it’s just going to be a great experience to be able to listen and be a part of.”
All nine students received the sheet music last week and are tasked with learning and practicing their respective parts on their own time.
Sholar plans to practice however long it takes to feel confident Navy band members will not only feel as though she belonged on stage, but also deserved to be on stage performing with the flagship musical organization of the Navy.
“Personally, I like to practice with recordings,” Sholar explained, “so I at least have an idea of what’s going to happen or how it should sound.”
Archibald admitted he feels a little tension.
He said, “It makes me feel like I need to hold myself to a higher standard.”
Archibald later added, “This is something I was able to do because of my commitment to band. … It’s something I am always going to remember.”
The following is a complete list of students, who will be performing onstage alongside members of the Navy band.
Blackman High: Bernard Ekwuazi (trombone)
Central Magnet: Stephanie Hensley (euphonium)
Eagleville School: Devin Archibald (trumpet)
LaVergne High: C.J. Walker (percussion)
Oakland High: Melody Kinney (flute)
Riverdale High: Josef Viramontes (saxophone)
Siegel High: Savannah Shaver (clarinet)
Smyrna High: Emily Sholar (French horn)
Stewarts Creek High: Chandler Currier (tuba)
PHOTO / KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
MAIN SHUFFLE: Devin Archibald, trumpet player, who turns 16 just 10 days before the March 16 concert with the United States Navy Band, was drawn to the tone of his chosen instrument in sixth grade and the “power they can bring to the band.”
Emily Sholar and the United States Navy Band.