Junior Hunter Roach has been a member of the marching band for five years and concert band for seven. He has been the first chair in the Junior All-State band three consecutive times, playing a different saxophone each year. However, Roach is very well rounded in the instruments he can play.
“The saxophone isn’t the only instrument I can play. I also play clarinet, piano, ukulele and guitar. I took guitar lessons when I was younger, as my whole family loves bluegrass music and can play string instruments. I found guitar rather difficult for me. I lose my finger placement very easily,” said Roach.
Since Roach grew up around music, he started playing at a young age. However, his family is not the only musical inspiration he has. Roach looks up to PHS graduate Livia Sullivan, who was also a member of the band.
“I have always had so much respect for Livia Sullivan. She has been such a great role model for me, as she was an amazing player and still acted humble without ever boasting,” said Roach.
Roach is privileged to have had a solo in this year’s band show.
Like many athletes, performers and leaders, this soloist has a routine before he performs.
“Before performing, I often find myself closing my eyes, breathing deeply and slowly. I like to think that every performance is just another practice. I put 110% into every repetition, so every run has equal importance in my mind,” said Roach.
Through his experience, he now knows what he wishes he would’ve before his first solo performance.
“Something I wish I had known before going into my first solo is that a solo should never be any different any time you play it. No matter who is watching, your music should always be the same. Perform as well as you can every time, and you’ll come to find that consistency will be your best friend,” said Roach.
Roach has been involved in many solos, duets and ensembles during his band career so far. Playing a solo at Lucas Oil Stadium for State this year was an experience that Roach says he will never forget.
Roach hopes to continue having solos in his final band season next year. Until then, he plans to have solos during pep band at the home basketball games. He really hopes to go to State again next year and take the first place spot.
After he graduates, Roach is not sure what he plans to do with music after high school. If he continues with it, he will likely study music therapy. He currently writes his own music in his free time and hopes that one day it will lead to something big.
Roach will continue to share his musical talents as a member of the band for another year and will hopefully be in the top bands in the state again next year. Only time will tell, but until then, Roach will continue to work extremely hard for the band.
Story by Kaden Lewellyn