Glacier Peak senior Ethan Kelly — who plays in the marching band and does theater — holds his clarinet at the school on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 in Snohomish, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Glacier Peak senior Ethan Kelly — who plays in the marching band and does theater — holds his clarinet at the school on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 in Snohomish, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Band friends turned to family for this Glacier Peak senior

Ethan Kelly, 17, has played clarinet for years. After high school, he hopes to study sound design.

SNOHOMISH — Ethan Kelly, 17, is a senior at Glacier Peak High School.

He joined band in the sixth grade and has been playing clarinet ever since. He’s in multiple clubs, such as theater, Model United Nations and honor society. He hopes to study sound design in college.

Question: What have been some of your favorite classes?

Answer: This is really the first opportunity I’ve had to explore electives — being in band all four years has taken up that room. I’m trying out AP computer science. That’s probably my favorite class so far.

Q: Why’d you choose computer science?

A: Working with computers has always been fun and I’ve wanted to explore that, especially considering that my career in the future might involve programming.

Q: What do you want to do after high school?

A: I want to go to college, and the degree I’m going for is pretty specific. They don’t actually have any in-state colleges that offer it, so I might have to go out of state.

My plan is to study sound design, or sound engineering. The only in-state school is DigiPen Institute of Technology (in Redmond), and out-of-state I’d probably go to Montana State University.

Q: What is sound design?

A: It’s not necessarily the art of composing, but more of creating sound effects to put into films, video games, that sort of thing.

Q: How’d you decide that’s what you want to do?

A: I knew I wanted to do music post-high school, and sadly the only real availability is either being a music teacher or being a professional performer. I decided to explore other possibilities and by merging my passion for technology and passion for music, I found that sound design would probably be the best way to go.

Q: How’d you get into music?

A: It started back in elementary school. I have my music teachers to thank, specifically, Ms. (Andrea) Peterson. She received the award for (National Teacher of the Year in 2007). Coming into sixth grade I heard there was a band I could join and I immediately signed up. At first I wanted to be a percussionist. Clarinet was my second choice. I would never go back knowing the people I’ve met and the memories I’ve made in the clarinet section.

Q: Tell me about theater club?

A: I’ve helped backstage in the lighting crew, particularly with last year’s production, I was on spotlight.

It started with the spring of my sophomore year, when I heard there was a pit orchestra that played with the performances. We sit under the stage in the pit and perform the live music.

These past few years I’ve put a focus on getting involved and trying new things. Like Model United Nations, I never would have tried that out in my freshman year.

Q: What made you want to try new things?

A: My freshman year, our band took a trip to Disneyland. This was such an impactful time in my life that I also wrote my college application essay about it.

So at this moment I was a little nervous because a lot of my friends weren’t going, meaning I’d have to meet new people or else I’d probably have a bad time.

So, lucky for me, a couple of upperclassmen noticed I was relatively lonesome, and so I got quote-unquote, adopted.

The tradition goes that juniors adopt freshman, then they’ll hang out together on this sort of trip. But this wasn’t the ordinary adoption where maybe I’d hang out with a junior and one or two of their friends. Instead, I got basically inaugurated into this band family.

There were I think 12 of us total. We had a really good time. They were all so supportive and enthusiastic about everything that was going on, that I learned to open up as well. I was no longer afraid to dance around in the streets with my friends, or ride those little kid rides. As long as I was with my family, I was having a blast.

Q: What are some challenges you’ve grown from in high school?

A: Taking that first step to get involved, and leaping into the unknown and joining clubs and that sort of thing, wasn’t something I was very comfortable with. Once I broke out of my shell, and I started to go out and meet people, I found I was just enjoying my experiences a lot more.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192;; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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