Written By: Zach Hartman, AACS Senior
Photo Credit: Purgioia Images
When I was in the fourth grade I went to an instrument showcase and the trumpet looked like the coolest instrument to me. I have been playing trumpet ever since. When it came time for my senior pictures, I wanted music to be a part of it.
Just before the start of my senior year, I met with my photographer and told her about my love of playing the trumpet as well as my family’s love of the Baltimore Ravens. She was able to get me to the opportunity to play with the Baltimore Ravens Marching Band at their pre-game concert. The band, before every home football game, goes across the street to Camden Yards and plays a concert in front of the gate of Eutaw Street for fans passing by. After some communication between my photographer and the Band President, I was told that I had to prepare in advance to play one song – “The Baltimore Fight Song” - with the band.
On the way to the event, I did not know what to think. Part of me was still trying to comprehend what was about to happen, and the other part of me was slightly intimidated. Because I was the first person to have done something like this with the Ravens Marching Band, I was slightly scared because I wanted to make a good impression. Soon after I arrived at the meeting location, I watched the band unload from their busses. I waited, proudly wearing my AACS band uniform, and watching everyone else in their Ravens Marching Band uniform.
The first person to greet me was their drum major, followed by many other members of the band. Everyone I met was incredibly nice and accepting of me. After all the introductions, I warmed up with the band and then marched with them to Eutaw Street, where they assembled for their concert. Though I had only prepared for one song, the band played many more songs and let me continue playing. Since all the other band members had their sheet music attached to the bells of their horns, I played when I could, looking up to my left and right to sight read all the music from other band members. There were even points where the band dances while they play and I was also able to join them in the fun. It was a great experience!
After the concert was over I had the opportunity to meet the Band President. He was a very friendly person. He mentioned how he enjoyed having me play with them and he said he was impressed with my playing. I also had the opportunity to talk to a couple trumpet players.
I have marched with the AACS marching band since I was in the 8th grade and had the opportunity to play in the Ohio State Marching Band Camp several summers ago. That was a memorable experience as well. What made the experience with the Ravens band different was that we played a variety of different contemporary music that people in the audience knew. They came and left as they pleased. What made this a great memory for me was the band’s welcoming attitude which really allowed me to feel comfortable and helped me to really enjoying the experience. Even though I was wearing a completely different uniform and using a different color horn, I did not feel like an outsider but, rather, after a couple of songs, I felt like I was part of the band.
As I move forward into college, I plan on playing in some type of band in college, though I am not sure which type yet. I plan on majoring in computer science and Spanish, with music being more of my hobby. Because of my love of music, I want to continue playing in the future.
From Zach's Parents:
“Value the effort you put forward. Be determined, committed, and involved.”
― Lorii Myers, No Excuses, The Fit Mind-Fit Body Strategy Book
This quote helps to describe Zach as a student and a leader within the AACS community. One thing within the school that he is most passionate about is the fine arts program. Everything from the Marching Band, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band to assisting with the audio/visual aspects of other fine art productions put on at the school, the fine arts program at AACS has been a huge part of Zach's Upper School experience. Aside from being able to get some wonderful senior portraits, the experience with the Baltimore Ravens Marching Band was amazing. It allowed him to play music at a higher caliber using the skills he has developed through the band programs at AACS.
From Nick Cherone:
"Zach is one of the most genuinely helpful, trustworthy, and humble servants in the school. He is polite, personable, and respectful. He is always eager to volunteer his time and talents to support the school, and we are so blessed to have his quiet, strong leadership on campus. He’s really an all-star."
From Ethan Hall:
What can I say about Zach? I mean, he's one of my guys. He was in my mentor group for two years and I've had him in Marching, Symphonic, and Jazz Band, not to mention the plays and rentals where he's worked sound/tech. I've really been blessed to know/mentor/teach him these past few years.