By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Miguel Araiza, a 2017 McNary graduate, got the most out of the trumpet he picked up in the fourth grade, playing in the school’s marching band, basketball band, wind ensemble, brass quintet, jazz band, symphony and pit orchestra for the musical the Addams Family.

Now, Araiza is taking his talents to the University of Northern Colorado.

After auditioning in March, Araiza received a $36,000 Music Award to go along with a $8,000 provost and $4,242,04 Lois J. Erickson scholarship. He also earned three $1,000 scholarships—Keizer Rotary Wheat, LLC, Sheila Goodman Memorial and Withnell Music.

Araiza said all of the scholarships combined should pay for a little over half of his college costs.

Araiza was introduced to Northern Colorado through his trumpet teacher, Jamie Hall, who he began taking private lessons with at the end of the eighth grade.

Araiza picked the trumpet because his father played the instrument when he was younger.

“I was okay in middle school and it wasn’t until I started taking lessons coming into high school that I got a lot better,” Araiza said. “About halfway through junior year is when I decided this is what I want to do. This is what I wanted to pursue. I like that it’s a way for me to express myself and I feel like through it there’s a lot of different opportunities.”

During Araiza’s senior year at McNary, the brass quintet placed second at the OSAA/OMEA state ensemble in April. The wind ensemble then finished fourth in the state in May.

At Northern Colorado, Araiza plans to major in music performance.

“My main goal at this point is to not be a middle school or high school band teacher but I’m going for performance because my hope is I want to be a performer with a professional group,” Araiza said. “I know through that there’s plenty of opportunities, that many professional players now they teach. That’s when you can have opportunities to teach at universities or teach privately. I know I’ll still be able to get to teach and impact other people while performing, which is what I like to do.”

While McNary has given Araiza the opportunity to play all types of different music, his favorite is classical and orchestral.

Northern Colorado is located in Greeley, Colo., about 60 miles from Denver.

“I really liked the feel of the campus, the community,” Araiza said. “A lot of the students I met were really nice and friendly. They have an amazing faculty there. They were all really nice and seemed interested in me going there.”