HUDSON — Shane Falco was meant to play.
"I've always loved music," said the 13-year-old Hudson Middle School student and standout soloist for the jazz band. "Music is my life."
He spends most of his free time practicing his trumpet — an instrument he picked up for the first time just a few years ago when he was one of the new kids in John Keon's beginning band.
His instrument was a financial choice.
"The trumpet was the cheapest instrument I could find," said his mom, Sonya Falco, noting that the family held a yard sale to buy the horn.
He took it and flew. For the last two years Shane has played trumpet in the school's elite jazz band. He also stepped up to play the tuba in the marching band, teaching himself how to play when there was no one to take the place of the students who had moved on to high school. He dabbled with the keyboard and also spent this past summer teaching himself how to play a saxophone that was a gift from his grandfather. He has been honored by selection to the All County Band the last two years.
"He's a very hard worker," Keon said. "It's amazing what he's done on the trumpet — and he's learned the tuba and saxophone on his own."
Shane recently was named to the prestigious Florida All State Band. In January, he will perform with other musicians from across the state at the Florida Music Educators Association's Professional Development Conference in Tampa. The ensemble is comprised of 120 students (15 trumpet players) who are selected from hundreds of auditioning students.
Shane is the only middle school student in Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties to make All State Band this year. He said he is looking forward to the concert. "I like a challenge," he said.
Michele Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org