Noteworthy Talents – Freshman Ari Brown composes his own music

Noteworthy Talents - Freshman Ari Brown composes his own music


According to Director of Bands Richard Saucedo, the CHS performing arts department offers a wide range of opportunities for those students interested in studying music or performance beyond the high school level.

“All the CHS groups practice and perform at such high levels that it sets up a lot of kids for success if they decide to go on to pursue music at the professional level,” Saucedo said.

Pianist and freshman Ari Brown, who participates in multiple ensembles here, said he agrees. Brown said he wants to minor in some type of piano in college and thinks that CHS prepares students for further study in music well.

“I am satisfied with the music level CHS offers. There’s always a place for every level of musician. CHS has a lot of opportunities if you choose to get involved,” Brown said.

Saucedo said this school helps musically oriented students by providing a wide range of groups  to take part in. According to the 2012-2013 program of studies, CHS currently offers over 15 different ensembles between the band, orchestra, and choral departments.

As for Brown, he said he takes advantage of the diverse groups CHS offers by playing the piano in the jazz band and playing the violin in the concert orchestra.

“(Jazz band) is really helping me with chords that I actually have not learned before. Jazz is a completely different genre, and there are new techniques for me that are also helping me.” Brown said. “I’m also learning more about the orchestra, which can help me with my concerto because I perform it with the orchestra, and I can understand more about the different parts in the concerto.”

As for Saucedo, he  said he believes the high level at which the groups perform gives students an advantage in terms of preparation for future careers.

“The kids perform so well, and our conductors are so good. I’ve heard a lot of college orchestras,” Saucedo said. “When I listen to the Symphony Orchestra play, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two.”



How did you discover your passion for music?
I kind of just figured I liked playing the piano when I was about eight, and then I started lessons. Then I took off from there.

Why do you like about writing and playing the piano?
I just love music in general and the feelings in it. In my writing, I like to figure out the structures of chord and figure out the technical/mathematical part of it, but writing is more for learning. I feel like I learn when I write.

When did you start writing music?
I only occasionally write. It’s usually just for my enjoyment. It goes off and on, so basically when I feel like it. I first started with simple chord, and one melody and kind of liked it all. I just write classical musical. I’ll usually just write a few lines of a melody, and then I usually don’t finish anything. I just usually write it and then don’t do anything with it. I just usually make a melody up, and I’ve only finished a few. I just write whenever.

Do you participate in any competitions for piano?
I do competition for piano. I just love to do competitions for piano and try to win. I’m trying to play with the orchestra and play a concerto. I play in a bunch of competition, but haven’t been able to play with an orchestra yet. But, I’m still pursuing it. It can range from 2 or 3 to 10 competitions per year. The most I do are just local, but then a few of them are concerto competition. I’m trying to go to world piano competition.

What do you like about competitions?
I like competitions because they motivate me to practice harder, and most competitions advance me even if I don’t win because I’ve been practicing so hard for it.

When did you start getting into playing in competitions?
A year after I started, like when I was nine or 10, because I switched to a more competitive teacher, and she asked if I wanted to do competition, and I thought it would be fun.

So, do you win a lot of these competitions?
It depends. During my first year, I won a lot of them. It depends on what piece you learn and how well you learn it. I’ve won World Piano once when I was 10, and I went to Carnegie Hall. I won at level 3 at world, and it ranges from level through level 12. I would be level 11 if I were to go back. World Piano is international and very rigorous and hard to get in, but if you win, it’s a really great honor. I would love to play there again.

How long do you prepare for a competition?
I have a lesson every week, and I usually start out practicing with an hour per day. More recently, I’ve been trying to get in two hours for a concerto. Concertos are huge pieces and usually take six months to work on, but for a solo piece, it probably would be like two to three months. I usually play one movement from a concerto, and each moment is usually 10 to 15 minutes long. It’s pretty extensive work.
Do you have any inspiration you draw from?
I like Andre Watts. He’s probably my favorite classical pianist. I also really enjoy Lang Lang. He actually played the piece I’m working on with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra a month ago.

Do you plan to write more?
I usually write just as a hobby. I’m not really into structure composing position. It’s more just like a hobby on the side.

Do you have any plans for the future?
I’m still thinking about what I’m going to do, but I’m sure I’ll minor in some type of piano.

How long have you been playing piano?
This is my sixth year playing.

Do your parents and peers play any role in your music?
Everybody is pretty encouraging, and my friends think I’m crazy (good). They don’t really listen to me a lot, but they just know.

Are you taking any music classes at school?
I’m in the freshman orchestra playing the violin. Violin is the only other instrument I played, and I started in 6th grade. I like the piano better cause I’ve done it longer and I’m better at it.