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Mr. Euphonium

Pearland native Miguel Gonzales takes his passion internationally

Article by Joanna Sanchez

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Pearland Lifestyle

Students from high school to college freshmen level from around the globe send in their recordings. They bite their nails anxiously awaiting a reply to see if they were chosen. Only six students out of thousands are chosen internationally in each musical section for the semi-finals. From those six, it is down to three for each instrument that get to perform in a live competition. Recent high school graduate Miguel Gonzales made that top 6 and competes this month in Michigan for the semi-finals.

When hearing the stories of proteges, one always wonders when and why did someone start, for Miguel it was not too long ago. “I started playing the euphonium in 6th grade. My motive initially for joining band was because my brother was in band and I always thought the activity was cool, plus the instrument was distinct” says Miguel. As someone who had previously never listened to instrumental music and was not influenced by any artists, this hard working and dedicated musician’s mastery of such an unusual instrument is paying off this year.

Miguel is an accomplished musician, routinely placing in the top half in regional competitions and, most recently, finally achieving first place in the Texas Music Educators Association, a sponsored All-state event audition process he competed in throughout high school. However, managing the normal day-to-day obligations of teenage life, in addition to honing his musical craft, is no easy task. Like many his age, Miguel has responsibilities at home and maintains a part-time job all while setting aside time to practice his music on a daily basis. He admits that proper planning is the secret to navigating such a hectic schedule.  Miguel advises those with similar aspirations to “set realistic goals, do research on their desired instrument, know the opportunities you can get in the future, and choose something unique.”

You can regularly find Miguel pacing in solitude with the focus and calmness of an Olympic athlete while listening to famous euphonium players like David Childs and Steven Mead in his headphones. Nervousness and performance anxiety before competitions are typical, but for Miguel what drives him is to sound like his role models and have his best performance ever.