by LINDA FRABL | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Award-Winning Musician

PQ teen Patrick Paxson strives to reach higher and higher pinnacles with regards to his instrumental goals. He has already played the flute at the world-famous Carnegie Hall, received the John Philip Sousa Award, and was named the first chair at the Southern California Full Orchestra. Though he began his musical journey with group piano lessons at the age of 4, it wasn’t until Patrick started pursuing guitar and flute in middle school that he got the itch to see just how far he could go with his music.

When Patrick studied band as a sixth grader with Jay Posteraro, Director of Bands at Mesa Verde School, Jay had encouraged Patrick to try out for the All County Honor Band, which he was directing. Eager to earn his spot, Patrick recalled, “I got my own flute teacher (Dr. Elena Yarritu, principal flute with the La Jolla Symphony), practiced my song like crazy, and ended up the third to last chair in the band!”

“Carnegie Hall makes you want to play your absolute best.”

Most notably, Patrick was chosen by the Honors Selection Board to play the flute at the Honors Performance Series, joining others from the U.S. and Canada for a special concert at Carnegie Hall. Describing the experience, Patrick exclaimed, “It was absolutely amazing to play there. Carnegie Hall makes you want to play your absolute best, and it makes you think, ‘Wow, famous people have played on this famous stage, and they are way better than me! I should try to keep up the standard.’”
Always ready for a challenge, Patrick took a summer music program in jazz band guitar and admitted, “I totally failed, because I was playing pop chords instead of jazz. But I eventually got a better jazz guitar, learned more chords, and then had fun playing. So I auditioned for the Mesa Verde Jazz Band, and played with them.”

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Now that he’s a freshman at Westview, Patrick is maintaining his private flute and guitar lessons, and he’s studying marching band at his high school. Of the latter Patrick revealed, “The novelty of marching and playing and making music and cool shapes is very different from what I’m used to. Marching band is fun because it’s a totally different experience from concert band. It pushes me out of my normal comfort zone.” We have no doubt that Patrick will continue to push himself towards more and more musical successes.

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AT-A-GLANCE

Name: Patrick Richard Paxson (13)
School: Westview High School
Grade: 9
Parents: David and Wei Paxson
Sibling: Charles Paxson (9)
Favorite Place in 92129: The Westview High School band room