York Bourgeois, Class of 2024, recently played with the All-State Junior High Concert Band, an ensemble of talented middle and junior high school musicians from across California. He was first-chair trumpeter and one of a few soloists in the group, which played on Feb. 17 in Fresno as part of the California All-State Music Education Conference.  

York performed alongside student musicians he had never met before and only began practicing a couple of days before the all-state concert. The trumpeter learned challenging pieces from professional musicians during the six-hour practice days that preceded the performance. For his solo, York performed “Air Gai,” a trumpet solo composed by Gerard Berlioz.

“I’ve never done anything like this [all-state concert] before,” says York, adding that it gave him a sense of independence and a view of the professional side of music. In addition to rehearsals and the final performance, York participated in “Master Class” style sessions with renowned musicians, including tubist Pat Sheridan.

Back in San Diego, York plays in Parker’s Middle School Band and with the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra. His twin sister, Mercy, Class of 2024, is a violinist who also plays in the band. The two can often be found playing together at home in their free time.

York fell in love with the trumpet in Grade 4 while at Parker’s Lower School. He had been playing piano since the age of 5, but the complexity of the brass instrument drew him in.

“It’s a more interesting solo instrument,” says York. “You can do more with it. There are a lot of different styles to play and it’s more expressive.”

York’s favorite style of music to play is classical, and one of his favorite pieces is Alexander Artunian’s Trumpet Concerto because of its energetic solo for trumpet.

“He’s very musical and very expressive. He loves the challenge,” says York’s mother, Jing. “What we love about Parker is that it gives York the opportunity to challenge himself.”