By Darius Davila | Staff Writer
Johnson is full of exemplary and talented students who never cease to raise the bar for success. A great example of such success and talent is senior Michael Jopling, who just recently won an international Marimba solo competition.
“I attended an international convention called PASIC, which is a competition for percussionists from all around the world, and I unexpectedly won,” senior Michael Jopling said.
Jopling’s sudden success was rewarding and surprised him just a bit.
“I never anticipated that I would actually win the competition. When I entered, I didn’t know what to expect,” Jopling said. “And I was surprised that, once it was announced that I won, the associate principal percussionist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra came up to me and asked me to study under him. I was offered a full ride to Carnegie Mellon in Pennsylvania, which totals to about four hundred thousand dollars, and two other schools also offered me a full-ride.”
Jopling looks forward to what Carnegie-Mellon has to offer him.
“I’m definitely going to accept Carnegie-Mellon’s offer to go to school there, because I get to work with symphony percussionists, and it will give me real world experience. And, most famous symphonies are on the east coast,” Jopling said.
Jopling feels like he owes his success to his hard work and supportive teachers.
“I think I was successful at the PASIC convention because of practice, but the biggest help was teachers, It was my teacher who recommended attending the convention and told me about the associate principal, Branson,” Jopling said.
Jopling has been playing for almost seven years, and plans on teaching marimba as a profession.
“Marimba is like a xylophone; it is played with mallets, and I’ve been playing for about seven years. I plan on teaching marimba at a college level, as well as performing solo or with symphonies,” Jopling said.