Pendleton Heights musician makes All-State Band

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    PENDLETON — Pendleton Heights High School band director Chris Taylor was thrilled to learn one of his students, Connor Dunn, was selected as one of the top young musicians in the state.

    Dunn, 15, a sophomore trumpet player, recently was selected to be part of the Indiana Bandmasters Association 2017 All-State Band.

    Dunn is the first student from the school to make it into the All-State Honor Band working with Taylor, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear he’d made it, Taylor said.

    Dunn will participate in the 57th Annual Indiana All State High School State Festival at Purdue University in March.

    Dunn has played the trumpet, like other members of his family, since sixth grade.

    “We had a trumpet at our house, and I saw it when I was little and thought it was really cool and started playing,” Dunn said.

    While his brothers, mother and even grandfather have played the instrument, he’s the first in his family to earn a spot on the bandmasters’ group.

    While he always thought of himself as a pretty good musician, Dunn never imagined as a sophomore he’d earn a spot on the top state high school band.

    “I didn’t think I’d ever get this far,” Dunn said.

    Students were selected to be part of the band after taking part in competitive auditions in January.

    Dunn was one of more than 600 musicians to apply to the band.

    He was one of 173 high school musicians selected from across the state to be part of the group and play in the 2017 music festival.

    Taylor said he wasn’t too surprised Dunn made the All-State Band because he earned it.

    “He is an incredibly hard worker,” Taylor said. “He is involved in all aspects of the band program, takes private lessons and is a great musician.”

    Dunn is very deserving of being part of the band, Taylor said, and everyone associated with the school’s band program is incredibly proud he was selected.

    In addition to this group, Dunn has been a part of a number of state honor bands in the past.

    All band members will participate in a series of activities, including seating auditions, sectionals and full rehearsals from Friday, March 10, through Sunday, March 12.

    A grand finale public concert is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 12, at Purdue University’s Elliott Hall of Music.

    There will be one 86-piece Indiana All-State Band and an another 87-piece All-State Honor Band, with students earning seats on either band.

    Dunn, who also excels in math, said he plans to study music in college but more than likely will become an engineer and study music as his minor.

    He is looking forward to practicing and taking the stage with the state’s top high school musicians in March.

    “I’m really excited about that,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun getting the chance to play with other people who are really, really good.”