This week as the sounds of the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Music Festival fill the air and remind individuals of the importance and power of music in a person’s life, for one Smith-Cotton student, music has been her passion for as long as she can remember.
“I can’t remember a time when music hasn’t been a part of my life,” Sarah Myers said. “Some of my most lasting friendships and memories involve times I have spent with people I have met through music and band.”
Myers plans to continue to use her musical abilities in the future both in college and after graduation.
“I received a scholarship to Truman State University,” Myers said. “I enjoy the band environment and music is my passion so I feel teaching music would be an enjoyable career.
“I not only want to get my degree in music education but I eventually want to work toward obtaining a degree in music therapy,” she added. “I think I can teach and work on my second degree at the same time.”
Myers said she had no idea where she wants to teach, adding it would be cool to come back to Sedalia but she also wants to move on and explore other options that come her way.
Exploring her options is something Myers has done when it comes to the number of instruments she plays and the style and variety of music in her repertoire. A member of the band, marching band, jazz band and orchestra at Smith-Cotton, Myers also plays with the Sedalia Symphony Orchestra.
“I can play several instruments from the tuba and trombone to the cello in the Symphony,” Myers said. “When I first saw a trombone I fell in love with it especially when I began to play it; I love the deep low sound of it.
“I tried the flute and I couldn’t get a note out of it though,” she added with a laugh.
Myers’ talent and hard work have resulted in her receiving a II at the State Music Contest last year and a I rating this year for her tuba solos.
Myers said even if she does not work in Sedalia she plans to remain in touch with several of her teachers including Smith- Cotton Junior High instrumental teacher Stephen Broadbent and Grant Maledy, her high school music instructor.
“I really regret the fact that I didn’t come to school here sooner,” Myers said. “I transferred to Smith-Cotton when I was a sophomore and I don’t think my other school challenged me.
“I could have branched out and tried other instruments sooner if I would have come here,” she added. “Mr. Maledy gave me a chance when I was a sophomore but letting me play in the orchestra and I will always be grateful to him for that.”
It is that advice that Myers said she will take with her and will pass on to her students one day.
“I’ve learned that if you see an opportunity you have to take it and go after it because you may not have it again,” Myers said. “I know that it’s because others have given me chances that I have grown as a musician.
“Be as active as you can in extra-curricular activities,” she added. “I think they really do help to build a person’s personality.”
One extra-curricular activity Myers said she would never forget was the S-C Marching Tigers’ trip to Florida to play during the halftime performance of the Taxslayer Bowl as well as marching in the parade at the event.
“It was a really emotional trip for me,” Myers said. “It was the last time I would ever march with my band-mates and it was a very memorable experience.
“I really enjoyed being with my band-mates and all of the memories and good times we shared,” she added. “There are so many good musicians in the area and I want to be good and take after them in my future.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484