October 25, 2021 News

East High School senior accepted into national symphony orchestra

Michael Widjaja
East High School senior Michael Widjaja is one of just six trumpet players to have been accepted in the 2021 National Association for Music Education's All-National Symphony Orchestra.

It’s not every day a high school student from Iowa gets accepted into a national symphony orchestra… but one senior from East High has done just that.

“I was just screaming and jumping with joy,” said Michael Widjaja.

Meet Michael Widjaja. He’s a senior at East High School and is one of just six trumpet players to have the honor to have been accepted in and play in the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Symphony Orchestra.

“Auditioning for it, I had no intention of making it. My intention was, I am going to become a better person doing this and in short, I’m going to become a better musician doing this,” said Widjaja.

To be selected for an All-National Honor Ensemble, Widjaja had to first be selected Iowa’s 2020-2021 All-State Festival. The All-National Symphony Orchestra will take place January 22 to January 24 of 2022.

“It’s going to be virtual. We’re going to have a great time and we’re all going to record ourselves playing and they’re going to compile it into one big video. So, I’m pretty bummed out it’s not going to be in person, but I am excited to create connections. Because I believe talent isn’t as important just being a kind human being and member of society. Just making those connections… that’s going to allow me to take the next big step in my life,” said Widjaja.

Widjaja has been playing trumpet since he was in 5th grade… starting off on a hand-me-down trumpet from his sister that was handed down to her by a cousin.

Eight years of practice, dedication and playing all leading up to this national honor.

“To have the opportunity to be one of 6 trumpets selected in the whole nation, I would have never guessed it. And it just comes from a quote I really live by. Work in silence, and your hard work will be rewarded later. And that hard work will become the noise that is made,” said Widjaja.

Widjaja said he wants to thank everyone from music teachers to coaches who helped him get to where he is today. He added he will be going into music for his future with his choices in colleges ranging from UCLA to Juilliard and more.

See the whole story by KTIV News 4 Emily Schrad here.