November 30, 2016
Throughout his life, Hersey has been playing instruments in both the band and orchestra. Although many kids start playing when they are entering third grade, instruments and music piqued Hersey’s interest…when he was at a very young age.
“My music started when I was four. I began playing the piano, but ended up in the orchestra,”said Hersey. “I first played the violin, and it helped me become a leader because I was concertmaster and it gave me a sense of understanding about every part of orchestra.”
He now mainly plays the bass for the school and an outside orchestra, although he still plays over ten instruments. His most important being the tympani for marching band, and the bass.
“It’s useful to play a variety of instruments in order to understand the strengths and weakness of instruments,” said Hersey. “It also helps in the way that I’m aware of not just myself but the orchestra as a whole.”
His practice regime doesn’t come easy. Hersey spends around seven to eight hours on the weekends and two to four hours every weekday practicing. On top of practice hours, Hersey sacrificed many activities he loved to do in order to be able to be at such a high level of music.
“I’ve had to give up many things in the past like soccer and martial arts. I’ve also had to make tough choices in the music world. Awhile back, I was invited to play for the Maryland Youth Concert Orchestra, where I was asked to be the principal [lead] bassist, but I was so busy I couldn’t fit it into my schedule,” said Hersey. Although he gave up soccer and martial arts, Hersey is still extremely optimistic and excited towards his music.
“Teddy is very passionate and hard working towards music. He’s always eager to learn more about what he needs to do in order to achieve his goals,” said Band Director Mr. Posner. Over his four years at Atholton, Hersey has contributed greatly to Mr. Posner and Atholton’s music program. He has participated in the orchestra, band, marching band, jazz band, wind ensemble, and spring musicals.
I first played the violin, and it helped me become a leader because I was concertmaster and it gave me a sense of understanding about every part of orchestra.”
One of the best qualities about Hersey is his ability to question things. Instead of just accepting facts he doesn’t know about, he always willing to learn the most about any instrument, band, or orchestra .
“Over the years, he has learned the why to a lot of things, especially in music,” Colt Petit said,one of Hersey’s closest friends all throughout high school.
“The funny thing about Teddy and me is that anytime we are together for more than 30 seconds, there is a good chance that one of us will hate the other,” said Petit. “Eventually I just accepted the fact that we are bound by music. This year, though he still does a great job of ticking me off. Snapchat always reminds me that he’s one of my best friends.”
Hersey has made huge strides with the help of friends, his dedication, hard work, and optimism, but he credits much of his success to his bass coach, Rock Mertz.
“He was able to explain music really well to me and helped me in order to become the musician today. I don’t see myself where I am today without him,” Hersey said.
Now, at the age of 17, Hersey is preparing for an opportunity of a lifetime.
“Next year the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is holding open auditions for musicians. This is a really rare opportunity because they only hold auditions when a member dies or retires,” said Hersey.
Anyone can tryout for this spot but very rarely will someone as young as Hersey audition. Hersey remains hopeful for the spot, but he believes his true opportunity will come after college. However, his sights are not set for the BSO but instead the Montreal Symphony Orchestra because of their massive concert hall.
Hersey is working diligently everyday to achieve his goal. But what is his true goal?
“It sounds cliche, but I really just want to make the world a better place. If it takes music I’ll do that, but if it takes another career path than I’m more than excited to help out in whatever way I can.”