MARYSVILLE — Nathan Weller, 17, is a senior at Marysville Getchell High School in the BioMed Academy. His favorite class is band, and he hopes to someday be a high school music teacher. He also competes in Hi-Q and takes Advanced Placement classes.
Question: What are some things you’ve been most proud of accomplishing in high school?
Answer: So, sophomore year our Hi-Q team went to playoffs, and that was really good. We had to pull through really hard for that.
Solo ensemble is a state musical solo competition. You compete within your Music Educators Association, so ours is Mount Pilchuck … and I got fourth in the district on my instrument. I play clarinet … I tried really hard for that. This will be my seventh year playing.
I’ve been a drum major since the middle of junior year. I’m really proud of that accomplishment, because I feel like I get to be a leader in this huge band program Getchell has now. I get to show the younger kids a lot of leadership and kindness, and show them a good attitude and good example.
Q: Tell me about Hi-Q.
A: It’s essentially an academic competition …. They send us sources and we study those, and we’re quizzed on them in competition.
Q: So it’s not a class?
A: It’s a club. It’s a team, but it’s a competition against other schools.
Q: How’d you get involved?
A: The first day of my freshman year, it just went over the intercom during morning announcements. It said, “Hi-Q is happening today after school,” and I was like, “Huh, sounds interesting,” so I showed up and I just kept going. This is my fourth year competing.
Q: What has been your favorite class?
A: I love band. Band is so awesome. It gives me an opportunity to practice my instrument. I get to spend a whole period of the day doing what I love to do. I’ve built a lot of relationships with people in the band. Especially younger ones, because they’re really cool and also need upperclassmen to talk to them, help them out and guide them.
Q: What does music mean to you?
A: I’ve loved music all my life. I loved to sing when I was little. I don’t sing too much now, but I joined band just because I thought it would be really cool and thought I’d be good at it … It’s art to me, it’s a means of expression and it’s just a feeling. It gives me a feeling that I want to chase. It’s really satisfying. Hearing a good piece of music or a good musician or performing group live is a really cool experience.
Q: Do you take all Advanced Placement classes?
A: No. I can’t take all AP classes, because I have PE and band and stuff, and I’m not in AP-level math. Last year, I took two AP classes but three AP exams. … I studied for the AP Spanish test, because Getchell doesn’t have that class. I felt really advanced in that area, so I wanted to take the test to see how far I’d gotten.
This year I’m taking AP English literature, U.S. government and politics, and AP biology.
Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
A: After high school I plan to serve a two-year mission for my church. So I’ll leave for two years and teach people about my faith, and then after I get home I want to attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and I want to study music. I want to be a music teacher in a high school.
Q: Anything else you’ve had fun doing?
A: I’m a Boy Scout. I don’t have my Eagle Scout yet, but I really want to get it. I hope I can get my eagle before December, because my birthday is in April. … I hope I get it, because if I’m 18 I can’t.