Brenden Nelson finds deep admiration for his musical pursuits


Jadelin Hinkel

Brenden Nelson has found joy in band and playing music in general.

Senior Brenden Nelson almost quit band. He was about to put away his saxophone and leave his instruments behind. 

However, just as he was about to move on to a different hobby, Brenden went to band camp. 

He went to band camp and spent hours marching, playing music, and forming memories with new and old friends; above all, he found the fun he needed to keep going. 

“I used to not like [playing music] at all,” Brenden said, “but ever since I started high school, [music is] one of the only things I’ve started really enjoying. I think I really just like a lot of the people in [band], and I really like playing the instruments; it’s just fun to get better.”

Since he started his music journey in fifth grade, Brenden has played around seven instruments. He started out playing the trumpet, but, after sixth grade, he thought the saxophone sounded cooler, so he decided to give it a try. 

Beyond these two, Brenden also has learned to play the guitar, bass, drums, and other percussion instruments, and is in the process of learning how to play the piano. 

As he has learned the ins and outs of each instrument and improved his overall music skills, Brenden has grown to love one instrument a little more than the others. 

Ever since I started high school, [music is] one of the only things I’ve started really enjoying.”

— Brenden Nelson

“My favorite instrument is the guitar,” Brenden said, “because it was the first instrument that made me enjoy playing music, and it’s one of the most universal instruments and can be used in any genre of music.”

As he is a part of the school band and plays music on his own, Brenden has played a wide variety of music—something that is easier to do with his range of instruments and his versatile guitar. His favorite, however, is one not usually played in school. 

“Heavy metal is the most fun to play,” Brenden said, “because it’s usually the hardest and the most energizing music.”

Whether he is rocking out to heavy metal or playing something of a different genre, Brenden not only enjoys the actual act of making music and being able to feel accomplished after playing a hard song, but he also likes to mess around with notes and see where they take him in an attempt to make a song. 

“The coolest thing I’ve done with music is just to record it,” Brenden said. “A lot of people play instruments just for the fun of it, but I like recording the stuff I play and trying to make songs. I don’t publish anything, but it’s still fun to do.” 

Brenden doesn’t fully know where his instruments will take him—as of right now, though, he is hoping for a career in music. 

“There’s nothing like playing music,” Brenden said, “especially in a band with other people, and it’s always been my dream to play on a stage with a band one day.”

Before he gets to the stage, he will once again test his love for music on the field. He is hoping to join a college marching band and spend hours marching, playing music, and forming memories with new friends. 

During the process, he hopes to never lose what he found playing the guitar and at band camp four years ago: his love for playing music. 

“[Music] makes me feel better about myself,” Brenden said. “A lot of people work out and they feel good about themselves. [When] I’m bored or tired or whatever, if I play music, I tend to feel better about myself. It just makes me happy.”