Amplifier continuation: Performing in harmony

Reese Hunsaker and Luci Clemo, senior and junior, respectively, share accomplishments, goals, and obstacles.

Reese Hunsaker, senior, plays the bassoon as well as the piano.

Joseph Murphy

Reese Hunsaker, senior, plays the bassoon as well as the piano.

There are a plethora of ways to express music, including choir and band. Based on their achievements, no one plays music better than Reese Hunsaker and Luci Clemo. 

Reese Hunsaker

Hunsaker plays bassoon for symphonic band. Starting in the sixth grade, Hunsaker initially played the trombone, but later broke it. He needed a new trombone. 

“I thought that my braces broke my trombone instead of me breaking my trombone,” Hunsaker said. “So I was like, ‘Oh, crap, I need to switch instruments.’ The band director was [Laura] Arthur [and she]  was like, ‘Hey, I have an instrument for you. Why don’t you try this? It’s really cool.’ And in fact, [the bassoon] was really cool.”

After finding his main instrument, Hunsaker branched out to other musical endeavors. This included playing the piano for the jazz band and playing a different instrument at every basketball game. Additionally, Hunsaker conducted the band for women’s basketball senior night.

“I love it,” Hunsaker said. “I consider myself a good leader and I love improving upon my skills, because leadership roles are valuable in every aspect. So I love being able to help the program.”

Blossoming into a leadership role for the symphonic band, one of Hunsaker’s jobs is to help keep the band in line. Being a four-year band member, Hunsaker can be considered to have more experience than other band members.

“I use my leadership position to try and ensure standard quality,” Hunsaker said. “I want to help everybody play the best that they can. And if I think that some comments could be made to help them or if I [should] say something, or if I can help do something for them, [I’ll do it].”

Being in a leadership role can come with its achievements. Like the orchestra, the band participated in the solo and ensemble competition. Hunsaker competed in a woodwind quintet. 

“I’ve competed in solo and ensemble since I was an eighth grader,” Hunsaker said. “You get some instant feedback, which is really helpful and it’s helped me grow a lot.”

Luci Clemo, junior, plays for the symphonic choir. This is her first year at West Linn High School. (Joseph Murphy)

Luci Clemo

Clemo, a member of the symphonic choir, has sung her entire life, but didn’t start formally participating until third grade.

“I started choir formally just because I like to sing in general,” Clemo said. “I think for me, I was just very interested in it, and once I got into choir, I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t really want to stop.”

Clemo has been a part of the choir program for only this year, but previously participated in Wilsonville’s choir program for two years. 

“The people here are a lot more supportive and welcoming,” Clemo said. “And I think it was also hard because I did a lot of online choir at Wilsonville due to [COVID-19]. But I think here the people are very welcoming, and it’s very focused base, where we very much focus on choir and work on to exceed and just do our best as a whole community.”

The choir program consists of two audition-only groups among other groups— chamber and symphonic. After auditioning for the symphonic choir, Clemo was accepted. In choir, there are four different parts: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Clemo sings the soprano part.

Additionally, as a soprano, Clemo competed in the Oregon State Qualifying festival on March 1. This was the first competition for symphonic choir this year.

“It was really nice to just be out and singing [as a whole group] and doing sight reading, and then we had the solo competition on Friday,” Clemo said. “Overall, really successful for West Linn.”

I just want to really show myself, [and] what I can do as well as just try to create a positive community within choir.

— Luci Clemo

Furthermore, Clemo has another year to improve and accomplish more goals. With the choir season just starting, Clemo has goals for herself.

“I just want to really show myself, [and] what I can do as well as just try to create a positive community within choir,” Clemo said. “Choir can really be an outlet where you let your feelings [go] through the music, and it can just really be a way of showing art. I think through my [last] year and a half, my goal is just to improve myself and [to] improve and leadership.”