Mind for music Won a national PTA-sponsored Reflections contest for musical compositions. Wrote “Suite for Concert Band in Three Movements,” which is scored for 28 instruments.
Big audience: Conducted his award-winning work with the roughly 60-member Arlington High School wind ensemble during the opening of the Linda Byrnes Performing Arts Center this spring.
Fond memory: “It was gratifying, but at the same time you are kind of sad that it is over.” Has already started writing a composition for next year.
Early start: Started playing piano at age 3 and composing music in the second grade. As a youngster, he would stack pillows underneath him and pretend to conduct an orchestra. Still takes lessons from piano teacher Maria Sier, making the long drive from Darrington to Snohomish. Also started playing French horn in the fifth grade and continues to play in the high school wind ensemble.
Career interests: Compose for film scores and conduct.
Favorite conductor: Italian composer Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936). “Most people say Beethoven, Bach or Mozart or Brahms, but Respighi, I think he is overly neglected for what he did. … I just have to listen to Respighi.”
Favorite authors: J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Graves for his work “I, Claudius.” Of “I, Claudius,” “I read it so slowly. Every word was just so wonderful.”
Other interest: Loves history. Favorite figure is Augustus. “He was the first person I studied in history in the fourth grade. That sort of started my whole obsession with history. I sort of owed that to him.”
Back in time: Likes old black-and-white movies with Laurence Olivier for his Shakespeare adaptations, especially his interpretation of Hamlet. Also likes Peter Lorre and Alfred Hitchcock.
Tennis anyone? Played varsity tennis as a freshman.
Mind games: Made the school’s Hi-Q and Knowledge Bowl academic teams as a freshman. “I tried out for it. I felt I had a chance, but I wasn’t sure they would take a freshman.”
Personal philosophy: “Some people say you are young and you should be doing kid things… But I think there is so much that I want to know. You couldn’t measure how much you could see or do, you just have to start now. If I lived to be 100, I’m 14 percent done.”
Super Kid will take the remainder of the summer off and return Sept. 4.