Artist Spotlight: Nathan Zhang (I)

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(Source: Karen Dong (I))

By Yongyu Qiu (I), Staff Writer

From playing the piano and trumpet to drums and guitar, Nathan Zhang (I) has done it all. At the age of five, he started learning the piano, which he hated at the time. As he grew older, however, he developed an appreciation for music and the ample opportunities it provided him.

Like learning any other skill, playing an instrument requires hard work and patience. Zhang has long had a natural musical curiosity; he is able to learn and play the songs he hears on the radio and sees in movies. He further displayed his creative potential by joining Boston Latin School Thursday Dues Band in sixie year and BLS Big Band in tenth grade.

Music is everywhere, and even simple notes can evoke strong emotions and help build connections with others. For Zhang, “music is deeply intertwined with emotion.” He remarks, “If I’m very happy and listening to a certain song, I’ll, from then on, associate that song with happiness, even if it’s not that good of a song. It’s strange what music does to your mind.”

Not only does music tap into his emotions, but it also provides a haven from the outside world. Zhang often finds himself using instruments to cope with any stress he feels — when he needs a break, he starts playing his guitar.

Big Band also fosters a sense of community and is a place where Zhang found others with similar passions. Zhang recalls, “One of my most memorable moments with Big Band wasn’t even music-related. After our recording session, the entire band, along with some band alumni, went to get hot pot in Chinatown. It’s just small things like this that make the band feel more like a group of friends rather than an extracurricular.”

Zhang credits his band director, Mr. Paul Pitts, for supporting him and providing him with the most help. From lending him instruments and musical pieces to giving him the opportunity to play lead, Mr. Pitts ensured that Zhang had everything he needed to excel.

“He’s a big voice in the Big Band, an excellent lead trumpet player and pretty good lead soloist,” Mr. Pitts comments. “He has developed very steadily. […] He’s a conscientious musician.”

Aside from his involvement in Big Band, Zhang enjoys crew, which he joined in freshman year. The memories that crew has brought, such as rowing on the Charles River at sunset, made it an enriching and worthwhile experience.

Looking to the future, Zhang is excited to bring his skills to the next level. He plans on joining a band in college, as well as pursuing other possibilities that the musical world offers.