Elkins High trumpeter to attend All-State band

An Elkins High School Marching Band trumpet player has been chosen for the West Virginia All-State Band. Junior Andrew Tenney was selected to fill the 11th seat for the 15-member trumpet section.

“Andrew is an extremely talented individual who is driven and dedicated,” said EHS Band Director Joe Bowen. “We are extremely proud of him and his accomplishments. He is the first EHS Band member to be chosen for the West Virginia All-State Band since Annie Harmon in 2008.”

More than 100 trumpet students from across West Virginia auditioned for the 15 available spots. The audition consisted of five minutes with a judge performing music and sight-reading.

“I practiced for a month to prepare for this audition,” Tenney said. “It was difficult, but I enjoy it. It takes a lot of work, but I like playing and meeting and learning from other trumpet players from all over the state.”

“My dad does not text, but he texted me at the auditions to see how I did,” Tenney said.

Tenney began playing the trumpet when he was in fifth grade at North Elementary School.

“I chose the trumpet because my arms were not long enough to play the trombone,” Tenney jokes. “Playing trumpet is something I am good at. I love music and it’s what I do.”

Tenney said he really stepped up his game when he started band at Elkins High School.

“A senior, Ricky Ferrese, helped instill a spark in my trumpet playing,” Tenney said. “I was a freshman and I really looked up to him. He encouraged me to strive for higher goals, and I wanted to be as good as him.”

Ferrese said he enjoyed the year playing with Tenney.

“I think he was the best dedicated freshman that year and he really strived to be better,” Ferrese said. “His dedication brought him forward and he improved dramatically on the trumpet. He is a great kid and I hope he stays with it. He will do great things in whatever he does.”

Ferrese said he knows Tenney will be a great role model for incoming trumpet players.

“I know the incoming freshmen will look to Andrew for help and direction,” he said.

Once in high school, Tenney also began taking private lessons to enhance his playing.

“We take Andrew for private lessons with Adam Loudin from Buckhannon,” said Michelle Tenney, Andrew’s mom. “His father Steve and I are very proud of him.

This honor is not the first Tenney has attained playing trumpet. The was a Royal Trumpeteer two years for the Mountain State Forest Festival. He served as a member of the All Star Band for the Tournament of Bands twice. The All Star Band marches in the Thanksgiving Parade in Philadelphia. Tenney was also named to the West Virginia University Honor Band two years in a row. He has been a soloist during the Elkins High School Band’s field shows.

“I practice about 30 minutes per day,” Tenney said. “Playing the trumpet is not like playing a guitar where you can practice all day long.”

Tenney currently marches in the Elkins High School Band and performs with a soul review at Davis & Elkins College.

“I hope to attend West Virginia University after high school and want to try out for the WVU Marching and Pep bands,” Tenney said. “I intend to pursue a career in music education. I don’t know if I want to teach at a middle or high school, but I definitely want to be a music instructor.”

Tenney said he is going to continue to expand his horizons and try out for WVU Honor Band and MSFF Trumpeteer again.

“I hope my making All-State Band will start a trend at Elkins High School band, and encourage others to try out as well,” Tenney said. “It is fun and you make life-long friends in the process.”