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Coppell Student Media

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October 26, 2023

Rajan solos his way to All-State Band as only freshman

Ahana Roy
CHS9 student Vibhav Rajan plays the trumpet for Coppell Band. Rajan placed third for his trumpet solo and earned a spot as the only Coppell freshman in the Texas All-State band.

This January day was not any normal day for CHS9 trumpet player Vibhav Rajan. 

It was the day of his audition for All-State band. His culmination of hard work and dedication over the past four years was finally unveiled. In the area competition, the top six players attain the title of a 2024 Texas All-State Musician.

Fourteen players from CISD were crowned as All-State Musicians, establishing CISD as the fifth highest district in Texas. Rajan placed third for his trumpet solo, earning a spot in the Texas All-State Band. He is the only freshman from CHS9 to receive this recognition.

He began his journey with the brass instrument in 2020, where he experienced band virtually at Coppell Middle School West.

“It made it really hard to learn,” Rajan said. “You couldn’t hear how others sounded and you couldn’t pay attention to much. When I played by myself, I wasn’t really interested in it. When I ended up playing with the band, it just sounded a lot more magical.”

Rajan did not choose to play the trumpet at first, he had previously gravitated towards flute. 

“I didn’t think I was really good until eighth grade, when I became the top player at my school,” Rajan said. 

Although he initially lacked confidence, Rajan developed an unexpected passion for the instrument. By the end of seventh grade, Rajan knew he wanted to be in the all-state band.

“I really worked hard, my seventh and eighth grade year,” Rajan said. “I listened to a lot of recordings and listened to feedback from others. I decided to keep my ears open to listen to anyone who had any advice to give me.” 

Widening his horizons, Rajan sought out various ways to immerse himself in all aspects of playing. Outside of school, Rajan plays for the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, allowing him to practice in diverse styles. 

“During band, he knows what he’s doing at all times,” sophomore Sydney Liu said. “I feel more comfortable when he’s playing. When we get new music, he’s always the one who knows how to play it.”

In and out of class, Rajan exemplifies elements of leadership and discipline. As a proficient player, Rajan pushes himself and the players around him in both skill and character.

“My motivation, goal and drive starting from seventh grade made me want to practice more,” Rajan said. “Once I realized I had potential, it got a lot easier.”

From his consistent practice and efforts, Rajan is able to masterfully develop his overall technique and timbre.

“Not being able to learn face-to-face is a very big challenge,” junior trumpet section leader Shrestha Mishra said. “Now seeing him, he’s really improved, especially within one year. Within our band itself, it’s so competitive to the point that it pushes anyone to essentially cross their limits. That’s essentially what happened to him.”

Despite his proficiency, Rajan expressed the acquisition of the seat was an unexpected yet pleasant surprise. Typically, musicians receive and practice All-State music during the summer, but unfortunately, Rajan had a late start.

“I was demotivated since everybody was doing better than me. I had to get back into my mindset and I really had to concentrate. I didn’t think I would make it to state,” Rajan said.

Rajan’s journey from feeling demotivated to achieving success was a testament to his determination. His concentration and unwavering commitment allowed his dream to come to fruition.

“When he was in middle school, his aims were to go professional in trumpet,” Mishra said. I still see that inside him. He still has that fire to get better. Even though he’s already one of the best, he still wants to push himself and cross boundaries.”

Follow @CHSCampusNews and @CoppellHSBand on X

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About the Contributors
Sanghika Pallela, Staff Writer
Sanghika Pallela is a sophomore and a first-year staff writer for The Sidekick. In her freetime, she loves to watch sci-fi movies like Interstellar and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. A black belt in Goju-Ryu karate, Sanghika loves to practice karate every Tuesday and Thursday. You can contact her at [email protected].
Ahana Roy, Staff Designer

Ahana Roy is a sophomore at Coppell High School, and her favorite class is The Sidekick even though this is her first year both at Coppell High School and as a staffer on The Sidekick. The reason The Sidekick spiked her interest is because she wanted to have an outlet for expressing her interest in designing graphics and drawing cartoons. Ahana likes drawing cartoons and designing graphics because she finds it very relaxing and a stress reliever. They are things she wants to get better at while at The Sidekick and throughout her years at CHS. Ahana’s favorite manga is JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which is a tangible application of the drawing that has influenced her.  Her favorite food is mutton biryani which is a delicacy in some parts of India. Ahana likes to listen to Bollywood, K-Pop, and electronic music. In her free time, Ahana loves playing video games, binge-watching television shows and reading comic books. When Ahana leaves CHS, she wants to go to the University of Texas at Austin and become a software engineer. You can reach her at @[email protected] if you have any questions or want to learn more about her!

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