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Coppell Student Media

The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

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October 26, 2023

Music in his veins, Johnson spreading his love for song

New+Tech+High+%40+Coppell+senior+Preston+Johnson+serves+as+Coppell+Choir+Madrigals+King.+Johnson+has+been+devoting+time+to+practice+music+for+five+years+and+plans+to+continue+through+an+education+at+University+of+Texas+at+Arlington.+
Isheeta Bajjuri
New Tech High @ Coppell senior Preston Johnson serves as Coppell Choir Madrigals King. Johnson has been devoting time to practice music for five years and plans to continue through an education at University of Texas at Arlington.

Nimble fingers move up and down the key. The music flows without any hesitation suggesting the player has been playing for years. True to the style of jazz, the tunes are guided by the soul. The music flows through him as his hands fly across the keys, as he fully embraces the art he creates. 

Phones capture the spirited tune and the practice room at Texas Music Educators Association All-State Choir in Tenor-Bass rings with applause as Coppell Choir Madrigals King and New Tech High @ Coppell senior Preston Johnson finishes his jazz improv next to piano accompanist Ruben Reyes. 

With a laugh, Johnson lifts his fingers off the keys. 

“It’s the core memory of music for me,” Johnson said.

Listening to the song, Coppell associate director of choirs Aaron Coronado approached Johnson and asked him to join Coppell Choir Madrigals. Johnson had no idea what to expect, but he played his way in. 

After he tried out, he made it and he loved it. 

“I didn’t know what to expect coming into it,” Johnson said. “I just know that it’s one of the top choirs at Coppell and it’s an honor to be in it. You’re surrounded by really talented people, so that was enticing. I wanted to check that out and  when I did explore for a year, it was really fun. ”

Johnson has been playing piano for almost five years. During Christmas break in seventh grade, he sat at a piano for the first time and learned “Linus And Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi. But the amount of years he’s been playing does not reflect the hours he has put into piano. 

Johnson was born with a rare ability that only 0.01% of the world population has: perfect pitch. Johnson is able to identify a given musical note without the benefit of a reference tone

Before I [realized I had perfect pitch], I would know if someone was singing a song in the wrong key,” Johnson said. “Or singing flat or sharp, but I didn’t know what it was.

He uses this talent to quickly learn and identify elements in songs. When others are lost in a song, they can listen to him sing and get back on track.

“He helps give us starting pitches,” Coronado said. “He’s always willing to help us lead rehearsals and get people focused.”

Johnson has an Instagram account where he posts regularly of him singing to playing instruments. You can hear the talent in his voice, the range in different types of music he can sing and the overall musical skill he puts so many hours behind.

Johnson works regularly with the other half of the King and Queen duo in Madrigals, senior Ana Jesayen.

“Preston is very dedicated,” Jesayen said. “You can tell singing is more than a passion, it’s his entire life.”

Johnson has a second home within the refuge of the choir room, losing himself in the keys of the piano for hours a day. But, his true passion is shown in his desire to share his passion outside the borders of the classroom. 

Preston is one of the most talented musicians that I’ve ever met,” senior Coppell Choir president Roma Jani said. “He is just so knowledgeable in art, and it’s not just the perfect pitch. It’s knowing the notes and rhythms, being able to sight read and knowing different chord progressions.

Johnson enjoys having a good time while also working to improve the choir’s collective sound. 

“He loves getting to know people, he is kind to all of his peers and he is very welcoming, which are the qualities needed in a real king, let alone a Madrigals king,” Jani said. “We’re all amazing, but Preston is just above and beyond.” 

The Madrigals is student-led, but the directors take into account each student’s leadership skills when selecting members. 

“Preston does a lot in leading others,” Jesayen said. “I work with motivating the choir and making sure they get things done. Preston is the person who talks more about the technicality of things because he is also very knowledgeable on music theory.”

Johnson plans to major in music education at the University of Texas at Arlington. Johnson hopes to share the passion and appreciation he has for music with others.

“During COVID-19, I realized that I like performing in front of people and like teaching people and creating music,” Johnson said. “I want to let others experience the same feeling that music gives me.”

Follow Ainsley (@ainsleydwyer) and @CHSCampusNews on X.

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About the Contributors
Ainsley Dwyer, Entertainment Editor
Ainsley Dwyer is a junior and the entertainment editor of The Sidekick. In her free time, Ainsley enjoys theater, enjoys singing, playing the guitar and binge watching TV shows and her favorite movies, Dead Poets Society, Almost Famous, Scream, Maurice and more. She is typically found listening to Taylor Swift, The Beatles, The Mamas & Papas, The Doors, Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, Amy Winehouse, Deftones, Coldplay and Evanescence. She’s born and raised in Coppell. Both her parents and families are from Colorado, and she frequently visits them every year. She plans to attend the University of Missouri to double major in history and journalism. Ainsley has two dogs named Blue and Rouey who are part lab and part pointer. Her favorite place she’s traveled to is New York and would love to live there when she's older. She also dreams of traveling across Europe. Ainsley is a big soccer fan, and her favorite player is Luka Modrić so she loves to root for Real Madrid and Croatia’s National Team. Ainsley also has a deep fascination with pop culture from the 2000s as well as pop culture from the 1960s and 70s. You can contact her on 'X'  (@ainsleydwyer).
Isheeta Bajjuri, Staff Photographer
Isheeta Bajjuri is a sophomore at Coppell High School. She is a photographer for The Sidekick, Coppell High School’s newspaper, which she joined due to her interest in photography. Isheeta became interested in photography when she realized the joy that taking photos brought her. However, her passion for photography became visible in the sunset pictures she took. Now, her favorite class in school is Art II Photography. In her free time, Isheeta likes to cook; her favorite thing to cook is also her favorite food: pasta. Aside from cooking, she also enjoys baking with her friends or even her mom. Her favorite things to bake are cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies, and cupcakes. She also likes to paint with different mediums, and she has been doing art since she was 4 years old! Isheeta loves to paint scenery because it is the most fun subject to paint. Isheeta enjoys having dinner, hanging out and shopping  with her friends. She enjoys listening to music, and her favorite artist is SZA. She has an older brother in college. Since we’re on the topic of college, she wants to go to UT or somewhere outside of Texas, where she wants to study to become either a lawyer, a realtor or a pediatrician. She does not have any pets, but she has always wanted an Australian Shepherd. You can contact Isheeta @ [email protected]  

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