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Meet A Student: Noah Sanchez

Latest SFCM News
Eighth Notes

Sanchez studies with Paul Welcomer.

January 30, 2024 by Alex Heigl

"I started playing in sixth grade, wind ensemble, but because I joined late, I didn't have an instrument in time, so the teacher let me use his flugelhorn, and so I started out on that. That led me to euphonium in seventh grade, and then I jumped to trombone, French horn, tuba. Eventually I realized that I liked them all, but that euphonium was the brass instrument for me.

High school came around and I was doing pep band and whatnot, but all the pep tunes were so outdated—'Louie Louie,' the 'Notre Dame Victory March', which I didn't even understand why we were doing that one, because our high school had its own. So I asked the band director if I could arrange something that would be more relevant, and he was like, okay, go ahead. I did 'Take on Me,' 'I Ran,' a Taylor Swift song. But I was adding my own stuff to it and I figured, well, composing isn't that different from this, so I just started writing my own works at around 15.

I spent three years at the community college and then I said I wanted to go big, so I only auditioned for places on euphonium or composition. I had been following Mason Bates for a while, his music, so I figured, all right, just a long shot, let's see if I can get into his studio. And I did … in 2020.

Because of everything that year I took some time off, but that was the best thing I'd ever done for myself. I was working in a warehouse, going to a therapist, meditating, journaling. I learned that every time I had done music, it was just a way to avoid things, it wasn't really out of the joy of my own heart. I forgot that you need to do music because you want to, not because you have to because of other things. It has to be fun. That was all really healing, but I was worried that I was moving towards just being done with music. My biggest fear was that when I started the year off, would I see music as just a hobby? Would I be able to come back to it?

But then as it came around, I was like, now I'm gonna get it done. I had a bunch of things performed last year, and then this year is starting off strong already: I had four pieces being performed last semester alone. I'm glad to be back. I feel on fire."