Markella Paradissis-Wagner – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Music brings people together in times of joy and difficulty. Last week, LRHS lost a student, senior Dashwood Payen. The band family lost a great friend and musician.

The band has decided to continue to play at their Music Performance Assessments (MPAs) this Friday in honor of Payen’s trumpet playing and friendship.

An LRHS musician who wished to remain anonymous said, “Dash’s trumpet sound will always inspire young musicians, his laugh will always ring throughout the band room, and his kindness will have an impact on the world. His talents, his humor, and his smile have all changed the community for the better.”

MPAs involve performing on stage and sight-reading, which is when a musician must play a piece of music without preparation, for the judges. Then, the bands will receive scores of Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent, or Superior. A Superior is equivalent to the grade of an A; an Excellent is equivalent to a B, and so on.

The band program also dedicated its Pre-MPA Concert to Payen. At 7 p.m. on March 6, parents, musicians, and friends filled the LRHS auditorium to listen to and play music.

Before the concert bands played their prepared pieces, sophomore Brandon Cox moved the audience after he played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes in a special tribute to Payen.

Then, the wind ensemble, the advanced band, took the stage after the symphonic, beginner, band. The students filled the room with beautiful sounds of love and determination.

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