Foo’s forte


Laith Rukab, Managing Editor

It is silent in the auditorium. A round of applause erupts from the crowd as the musicians take to the stage. Senior Nathan Foo is signaled by the conductor to begin the tuning process for the band. After sustaining a note from his oboe, the conductor takes the stand, raises his baton and the first song for the all-state concert band begins. 

“Making the all-state band a couple of times was definitely a highlight for me during my first few years playing the oboe in band,” Foo said. “But I have always looked to improve from any goal I have reached.”

Foo has played the oboe for about three and a half years. In the process, Foo proved he is capable of competing with other musicians in elite Florida bands.

“With my minimal experience compared to other high schoolers, I’m impressed with my playing so far,” Foo said.

Foo recently auditioned for the National Honor Ensemble and was accepted as an oboist. This was the first time in West Shore’s band history for a student to be accepted.

“It feels good to represent West Shore band being among the first to ever do so,” Foo said. “I had never thought I could display my talents on a national scale.”

But due to COVID-19, NAfME made the decision to cancel the in-person events. This includes the Amplify 2020 NAfME PreK-12 National Conference, Music Research and Teacher Education Conference, and All-National Honor Ensembles, originally scheduled to take place November 4-8 in Orlando. The health and safety of the members, students, and event participants was and remains their priority.

“I was disappointed that we weren’t able to perform a concert this year, but I feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to audition in the first place and hopefully that can do something for us in time,” Foo said.

Although Foo couldn’t participate in NAfME, band director Christopher Houze is content with Foo and believes he will be successful in the future with music.

“Nathan only joined band in eighth grade and has only played the oboe for a handful of years,” Houze said. “With his effort and the amount of time he dedicates to music, I believe he will be successful at the collegiate and professional level whether he wants to take those paths.”

With auditions to prestigious music schools such as Eastman and Julliard, Foo has the opportunity to take his musical career to the next level.

“Depending on whether or not I get accepted into these schools will determine my profession,” Foo said. “But I will probably still play in a university orchestra.”