Redefining the Tuba: Young Estes Park Musician plays his way to success
In his three-year tuba career, Will Peters has accomplished more than many musicians accomplish in their lifetime.
The dictionary defines tuba as, “The largest and lowest-pitched musical instrument in the brass family.” This is as far as most people would take the definition, but one young musician, high school junior Will Peters extends the meaning to a way of life.
“To me, the tuba means a constant fun challenge,” said Peters. “No matter how good you are, no matter how much you know or how long you’ve been playing, there is always more to learn.”
Since freshman year, Peters has been a performing member of the Estes Park High School Marching Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Band, and he has won many awards, including two State Champion Marching Band medals.
“Marching band is awesome,” said Peters. “It was what got me into the marching arts and Drum Corps and all that.”
While tuba currently defines his identity in the school band, he began his musical career on the trumpet.
“I switched from trumpet to tuba in 8th grade,” said Peters. “My band director back then, Mr. Varilek, needed a tuba player, so he just kind of handed me a tuba, and I’ve never looked back.”
His passion for playing has propelled him into searching out experiences beyond Estes park. Currently, Peters is auditioning for The Blue Knights, a Drum Corps International Corps based out of Denver.
“DCI (Drum Corps International) is basically marching band with just brass and percussion. Corps usually have about 150 members, and they travel all summer, competing all over the United States,” said Peters. “It ends in mid-August when the 40-something Drum Corps all compete in the World Championships in Indianapolis.”
The Blue Knights placed 7th in the world last season, and Peters is currently in their second round of auditions. He auditions again the weekend of December 17 in Denver.
“I can’t explain what draws me to Drum Corps,” said Peters. “These performers are the best in the world at what they do, and I feel like there is a constant need to improve myself and become a better player.”
The Blue Knights are not the only other group Peters is affiliated with outside of the high school. Peters frequently plays with the Estes Park Village Band and is first chair in the Combined Patriot League Symphonic Honor Band.
“I really enjoy Village Band,” said Peters. “It’s a great place to meet other musicians and really polish up your playing.”
Peters has also performed at venues such as The Stanley Hotel and Performance Park with various groups.
High School Band Director Sheridan Monroe nominated Peters to participate in a Colorado Ambassadors of Music tour to Europe. Peters and a band of other Colorado students performed in London, Paris, Switzerland, Venice, Austria, and Germany over the summer.
“It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life,” said Peters.
Peters is not limited to just the tuba; he has learned both the baritone and trombone to play with the EPHS Jazz Band.
Peters is looking at a degree in Music Education at the University of Northern Colorado after graduation.
“I want to pass on music to the next generation, like it was passed to me,” said Peters.