Lowell High School junior Joe Long was recently honored for his clarinet skills with the 2013 Regional Youth Arts Award presented by John Cain, executive director of South Shore Arts.
The award is given to high school students showing artistic excellence in their school and community, and was presented to Long at the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra's Halloween Pops Concert.
A member of the Jazz Band, Orchestra and Chamber Music Woodwind Quintet at LHS, Long has received 12 District gold medals and 8 State gold medals from Indiana State School Music Association competition.
This year he spent six weeks at Brevard Music Center’s Orchestra Camp in North Carolina, and last year attended Indiana University’s Summer Music Clinic, receiving an Outstanding Contribution Award.
In addition, he played to an audience of 3,500 during an orchestra concert at the Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville.
The son of Brian and Laurie Long, Long plans to study clarinet performance at Indiana University, Northwestern University or Roosevelt University.
“I would love to be able to play with a professional orchestra part time and fix musical instruments in a repair shop on the side,” he said.
Long, who practices six days a week, has simple advice for the beginner. “Practice, practice, practice. Sometimes it may be tough, but if you put in the time, it will pay off,” he advised
“Also, take every performance and audition opportunity that you can. These opportunities will make you more confident and comfortable,” he said.