Photo courtesy EPISD
Chapin trombonist Josh Richardson is an elite group of student musicians. He is one of only 20 students named to the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Jazz Band this year.
Richardson, who in 2019 also made the All-State Band on euphonium, is the only EPISD student to be given the honor this year. He’s no stranger to music accolades, having made All-Region band every year since he was in the sixth-grade.
The standout musician excels in other fields, too. Richardson’s grades place him among the top 1 percent in his class, and his community service earned him the rank of Eagle Scout – no small feat.
The El Paso Independent School District sat down virtually with Richardson to talk about his music career and his plans for the future.
EPISD: What does it mean for you to be named to the All-State Jazz Band?
JOSH RICHARDSON: It’s a life changing experience for me and something I absolutely can’t wait to be a part of it. I made All-State in a classical setting two years ago and I’m just so glad that I can get this new and different experience. I made it on the bass trombone.
EPISD: How has band changed for you during the pandemic? Are there any advantages to remote learning in band?
JR: Band has gotten so much harder because we don’t get the opportunity to play with anybody. As far as advantages, opportunities have arisen for me personally, such as lessons with world class professionals.
EPISD: What is your practice regime?
JR: Every day I warm up, play my etudes, and do my best to sound beautiful. If I have bad days, I know I can’t make progress, which is why I think it’s important to go slow and beautiful.
EPISD: Tell us about your passion for music and will this be something you decide to pursue as a career?
JR: I’ve been a musician for years. My family is filled with musicians, and I’ve been so inspired by them my whole life. I have plans to go to college for music, most likely education. I would love an opportunity to eventually get a doctorate. I would also love the opportunity to play in a professional military band! I just want to play for a living.
EPISD: Tell us about being an Eagle Scout and what it means to you?
JR: To me, being an Eagle Scout is both a personal achievement and an honor. It signifies something extra in an individual to have that kind of work ethic and efficiency and I’m glad I could strive for that.
EPISD: What was your scout project that earned Eagle Scout?
JR: I got Eagle Scout in the spring of 2019, and I earned it by painting my church’s entire parking lot, which took us a few hours every day for a solid week.
EPISD: How are you staying motivated and involved in school during the pandemic?
JR: In lockdown, the motivation I’ve received has been from my music and my loved ones. I jump at any chance I can get to see them and the contact I’ve kept has kept me sane! It’s been an academic struggle but I’ve pushed that as hard as I can as well.
EPISD: What advice can you give to succeeding with remote learning?
JR: It’s about consistency. I do best when I wake up at the same time, keep up a schedule, and plan course of action in my mind every single day. It seems tedious but the more you plan the more likely it is that you can be happy.
EPISD: What are your honors and achievements in high school?
JR: I’m in the top 1percent of my class as a straight A student and an AP student.
EPISD: Where do you plan to go to college?
JR: UTEP has a great music program as a backup but I’m looking all over Texas, like Sam Houston University for a bachelors. I have in mind UT Austin or University of Indiana for a masters.
EPISD: What is the first thing you plan to do when the pandemic is over?
JR: I plan to meet with my friends or my music teachers and play some live music.