Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Alcona High Student Gets Accepted To Interlochen

17 year old Joseph Mark LaVigne of Harrisville has just been accepted to the Interlochen Arts Academy for his senior year of high school for their music section.

Interlochen Arts Academy is the first fine and most prestigious fine arts academy in Michigan. Located in Interlochen, Michigan, it offers courses in creative writing, dance, motion picture arts, music, theatre arts, and visual arts to grades 9-12. Interlochen also offers an extra year to students who choose to stay and complete a year of college there. There are about 500 students attending the school, making it one of the most prestigious high schools in Michigan.

LaVigne likes to show off the part of his acceptance letter that states he was chosen out of 1000 other applications. “When I got the letter, my heart was pounding for three weeks.” LaVigne won his acceptance on his percussion skills. The most amazing fact about this is that he has only been playing the drums for three years. He only recently got his own drum set, through those three years he has never owned his own drum set. Instead, he would practice for hours at school. “I would stay after school for two hours and just practice.”

LaVigne has been involved with music since middle school where he played the saxophone. He started music because he couldn’t find any other elective and needed a hobby. “I’m not a sports person, I’m more creative” he admits. He played the saxophone for three years until he started high school and then found an interest in drums. That was when he started getting passionate about music.

“The drums are really interesting; there are so many different kinds. There’s the xylophone, marimba, and tympani….” LaVigne plays all percussion on the Alcona High School band and on a full sized drum kit on his free time. But he doesn’t restrict himself to that. He’ll often start tapping out a beat with his toes or his pencil and experiment with different sounds. His newest technique is taking a violin bow to anything that will make noise.

While his acceptance into Interlochen is his proudest achievement, it’s not his only. He was awarded the Directors Award for the school band in 2006, the Patrick S. Gilmore Band Award in 2007, the Musician of Excellence award in 2008, and the High School Band Award in 2009. He was thinking about Interlochen for two years before now and finally decided to apply.

LaVigne isn’t sure of his plans after Interlochen. He believes that more doors will open up for him after his senior year. He plans to either become a music teacher, an elementary school teacher, or hopefully a professional musician.

Besides drums, Joe also enjoys playing the guitar, the piano, and art. He will be leaving Alcona on the 3 of September to start school September 8. He will be living in a dorm room on campus for the entire school year. His parents Kathy and Joe LaVigne are immensely proud of their son and his accomplishments. Joe is also the proud grandson of Monafay and Rick Rozanek from Alcona and Victoria Evans of Oscoda.

To help fund his tuition to Interlochen, Mr. and Mrs. Lavigne will be holding a Garage and Bake Sale at the Mikado Market on July 11 &12.

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