The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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Gabriel Espitia: Drum roll for an Eagle scout

Drummer+Gabriel+Espitia+playing+at+a+jazz+concert.
©HAWKEYE image credit: Efrata Solomon
Drummer Gabriel Espitia playing at a jazz concert.

Senior Gabriel Espitia was named the only drummer for the NAfME’s (National Association for Music Education) All-Northwest Jazz Choir, which performed at the All-Northwest Music Conference in February. Earning this title means that he was the best drummer chosen from all applicants from six states – Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This monumental achievement does not mark the end of Gabriel’s musical journey, however. He is planning on pursuing music as a career after attending Central Washington University for higher education.

The Jazz 1 drummer, Espitia, was inspired to pursue joining the jazz band after witnessing the 2018 Essentially Ellington performances. He said he was “blown away” and was interested in joining the MTHS jazz band that had performed along with other top jazz bands nationwide at the prestigious festival in New York. That’s not too surprising given that as a long-time Boy Scout, Espitia has learned how to always be prepared. But more about that later.

Unfortunately for Espitia, the COVID-19 pandemic began closing schools across America. Lockdown and Zoom classes severely impacted Espitia’s high school experience during his freshman and sophomore years.

“Music was the main thing keeping me going through COVID,” Espitia said.

Coming back from COVID-19 was an eye-opener for Espitia. Finally, he could see and experience everything he had previously missed.

Espitia attributes his many successes to band director Darin Faul.

“He gets me working harder and eventually I started to see progress in my playing,” Espitia said. “Mr. Faul is 100 percent why I strive to be a music educator.”

Faul has given Espitia the drive to pursue music during and beyond high school, and influenced him to work towards becoming a music teacher or performer in the future.

His dedication to music can be observed when considering the effort he puts into playing his instrument, the drums. He said he usually practices for at least four hours a day.

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Espitia has progressed monumentally due to Faul’s assistance and extreme dedication to his craft. Espitia has shown himself to be an exemplary student of the musical arts.

But what about the Scouts? Well, Espitia is scheduled to receive the program’s highest honor – an Eagle Scout award – in the near future. He’s been involved in Scouts since he was in the first grade. “My biggest thing (outside of music) is that I’m in Boy Scouts. I’ll be getting my Eagle Scout pretty soon,” Espitia said.

Others might be passionate about activities such as sports, drama, dancing, gaming, or STEM, but to Gabriel Espitia “music, means everything.”

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About the Contributors
Ethan Holt
Ethan Holt, Hawkeye Staff
HSM staff member Ethan Holt is a joined in 2022, his sophomore year to improve his writing ability, and interviewing skills, and to participate in another class. This is currently Ethan’s 2nd year in HSM’s journalism program. When Ethan is not in HSM, he plays the bass, enjoys reading/listening to books, and playing with his dog, Luna. Ethan’s favorite part about HSM is the wide diversity of people involved in this program.
Efrata Solomon
Efrata Solomon, Photo Editor
Photo Editor Efrata Solomon is a junior at MTHS and in her second year of journalism. She joined journalism in order to engage more with school activities and find a community of like-minded people, as well as learn about newspaper production. Outside of journalism, Efrata hopes to pursue a career in forensic biotechnology to exonerate those wrongfully convicted. She also participates in TSA, HOSA, Girls Who Code, orchestra and NHS, and her hobbies include completing puzzles, reading, hiking, going to local concerts, thrifting, and spending her money on overpriced boba.
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