The Musical Prodigy


Photo By: Alex Rozbicki

David Gatchel, Junior, achieved the position of fourth chair in the California State Honor Band.

Cam High junior, David Gatchel was selected to participate in the California Honor Band. The auditions were held Feb. 20-23 where he tried out for and received the 4th chair position of the 76 clarinet players accepted out of 1,796 applicants. The California Music Educators Association has sponsored a California State Honor band for about 75 years.

Gatchel began preparation for this competition before the school year even started and had to complete an audition CD before Dec. 1. Gatchel said he practices at least 20 hours a week in order to hone his music-playing skills.

“My mom was a musician and my grandfather played violin, so that influenced me,” said Gatchel.

“I’ve got total respect for him,” said John Stava, music teacher and band director. “I’ve been able to work with some of the finest students in the state and he is one of them,” said Stava.

Not only does Gatchel play music: he also swims on the Cam High varsity swim team and participates in Cam High’s  jazz and symphonic band. He recently played piano for the Thousand Oaks Symphony on Jan. 10 and 12, and he was first chair for the Ventura County Honor Band.

“He’s phenomenal and always willing to help someone when they need it,” said Devin Cooper, senior and Honor Band member. “I could see him taking his music to Carnegie Hall.”

Gatchel hopes to continue pursuing music after high school and hopes to one day study music in a conservatory. “Music will always be a part of my life,” said Gatchel.