Markella Paradissis-Wagner – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Music has always graced LRHS senior Michelle Matheson’s life. She’s been playing instruments since the sixth grade.
For the past three years Matheson played trumpet in the Marching Mustang Band
and became trumpet section leader during her senior year. She also played in a trumpet quartet featured in the final movement of the band’s 2017-18 competitive show.
Matheson said, “Being in marching band has taught me leadership and dedication, which are skills I can use for the rest of my life. It’s also helped me come out of my shell and become a more outgoing person.”
LRHS Band Director Ron Lambert agreed, “Michelle has totally come out of her shell. It’s easy to be in a shell when you are somebody’s younger sister and Ian (her older brother) was such a big personality and character in the band that I think it took her a little while to develop her own identity.”
As a junior, she played trumpet in a brass ensemble at Solo and Ensemble districts, which is a music competition, and received the highest rating possible, a Superior, which sent the group to states where they also received a Superior. At the same competition, she participated in a quartet that earned an Excellent.
Music has changed Matheson’s life.
“Playing music is a lot of fun and being involved with it has created many lifelong friendships and unforgettable experiences,” said Matheson.
During her final year at LRHS, she is in the highest jazz and band classes offered, which are jazz 1 and the wind ensemble. She also is taking symphonic band, the beginner band, where she is a leader to the younger students by helping teach and setting an example of a model musician.
Additionally, Matheson mastered the violin and performed solos in middle school, earning many Superior ratings. She also played the piano and the clarinet when she was younger. For senior year she set her sights on learning French horn.
The Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps recently offered Matheson a contract to march for them during the 2018 season. The Troopers are a world-class competitive drum and bugle corps based in Casper, Wyoming. They are one of the 13 founding members of Drum Corps International (DCI). Modern drum corps groups originated after World War II, growing since the early 1930s, but DCI wasn’t founded until 1972.
The Troopers are known for providing members with a positive experience, excellent education, and skills that last a lifetime. They were also the first drum corps in history to win a National Championship with women on the field playing instruments.
Matheson said, “I’m super excited to march with Troopers this summer. It’s a huge honor and one of my biggest accomplishments as a musician. I can’t wait to meet new people and travel the country doing what I love.”