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Student Saxophonist Heads To State Championship

By Beth Farnsworth, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Anchor/Reporter, beth.farnsworth@keyt.com
Published On: Feb 18 2014 06:19:31 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 18 2014 09:12:48 PM CST

Seventh Grader Henry Urschel, from Santa Barbara Junior High, leaves Wednesday for Fresno to compete in the "All State Jass Band on Friday.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Musical talent comes in all shapes and sizes. And ages. One local student saxophone player is living proof that blowing your own horn with a small set of lungs will get you noticed.

His name is Henry Urschel.

"I've been playing for three years," Urschel said. "I started in fourth grade; I'm now in seventh. At first I was going to play trumpet but when I couldn't get, like, any sound out of it, I went to saxophone."

The Santa Barbara Junior High student leaves Wednesday for Fresno to compete in the All State Jazz Band on Friday.

His band teacher, Karen Dutton, says she's not a bit surprised.

"He came in for the audition and had his little set up, like he has now, and he probably didn't see my jaw drop to the ground, but it did," Dutton said.

While most kids are blaring Katy Perry or Macklemore through their earbuds, this 13-year-old is jamming to the likes of jazz greats Charlie Parker and John Coltrane.

Urschel says he practices in his room every day for an hour or so and gathers up his back-up band, with a simple ap.

"It has that many songs and goes down to Z," he shows us on his iPhone.

Dutton and Urschel's parents stand on the sidelines in the band room at the junior high, visibly proud of the teen horn player. "Musicians like this don't come around very often," says Dutton, with a big smile.

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