Kaytlin Bazan: The Flutist

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Sarah Ellis

Kaytlin Bazan smiles as she poses with her flute

The bell rings to signal the start of first period as students scramble to their classes. M eanwhile, Junior Kaytlin Bazan can be found heading to the band room to start her day. Upon her arrival,  she quickly takes out her flute and gets to work practicing her music for the upcoming mock MPA,  as the normal MPA had been canceled due to concerns that arose due to Covid-19.

From a young age, Bazan has had a passion for music. “My family has had a long line of music and art even if most of them haven’t performed before,  we listen to music and learn how to play it on our own as we are a Mexican family. Music was always playing in the background and had become a big part of my life.”

In eighth grade,  Bazan decided that instead of taking band as an elective and dropping her art class she would instead take time after school to practice and learn on her own. Bazan started playing flute out of afterschool boredom when her friend started teaching her a few notes. “I love the way the flute sounded and decided that I would start practicing in hopes of one day joining band,” she said.

However, Bazan didn’t seriously start practicing  until her freshman year as part of the Plant High School marching band. There  she realized that flute was something she loved and wanted to improve upon.

During freshman year, Bazan  was torn between playing trumpet or playing flute but decided that she would play flute after a friend of hers said that she would be a great fit for the fun and open-minded group that was the flute section. he did indeed fit in with the flute section, a group of all girls in varied social groups sharing a common interest.

Her time with Plant’s Band was short lived however. She moved outside of the zone boundaries for Plant and transferred to Hillsborough her Sophomore Year. “I was sad to be leaving plant and all the friends I had made there and I still miss the multiple music opportunities plant provided but I have enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends as part of Hillsborough’s music program,” Bazan said.

Bazan feels that her highest accomplishment as a musician would have to be in ninth  grade, her first year of playing the flute with a band.  She went from last chair to second chair over the course of one school year.  While she worked hard to become second chair at Plant,  when she transferred to Hillsborough, she had to work twice as hard to get to where she is now; first chair flute for concert band. She missed chair placement auditions, so to get to first chair she had to individually test against every other flute in the section .

Bazan accredits her success as a musician and her gradual placing advancement to practicing regularly and having initiative. “Anyone can practice but it takes a special person to say I’m going to work on this until I get it not only for my benefit but for the benefit of the ensemble as a whole,” Bazan said.

For Bazan, Band was used as a way to cope with the long quarantine period brought on by COVID-19. By going through and playing old music, which included English Folk Song Medley, Frozens Into The Unknown  and even the Mario theme song, it  lifted her spirits and it brought some normality back to her altered schedule. “It didn’t matter if I was singing or playing flute,  as long as I was doing something music related I’d feel much better. As I played the songs,  it brought back past memories of crazy things me and my friends would do and  it brought  me joy,”  Bazan said.

While she enjoys both marching and concert band, she prefers marching band because she enjoys playing stand tunes and dancing with her friends while cheering on the football team in what she describes as a “chaotically organized atmosphere.”

“I have enjoyed band so much that I plan on join the USF marching band and I have been told that I’m a great singer so I plan on working on my vocals so that one day I can become a professional signer or musician,” she said. Bazan’s secondary goal of working on her singing comes from when she used to sing at children’s birthday parties and was told by many that she was good at singing.

Bazan plans on achieving this goal by working with other musicians and putting herself out there. She claims that overall, she just loves singing and music in general and that it has helped shape who she is today.