Baritone sax player Truckey goes to state
For the Truckey family of Algoma, music is a passion.
Jim Truckey organized Algoma’s Concerts in the Park for 13 years and brought Grammy-award-winning talent to the region, and his wife, Lynn, who owns the Steele Street Floral Shop, has a “house full of musical instruments.”
So it isn’t surprising that their daughter, Elizabeth, who helped with her father’s concerts from the time she was 2, was selected in 2014 as an exceptional Class A soloist at the Wisconsin State Solo and Ensemble competition. She plays the baritone saxophone or bari sax, which is the lowest-pitched saxophone in common use and is primarily used in classical, band and jazz music.
In a second honor, Elizabeth, a junior at Roncalli High School, travels to Madison this week to perform in the Wisconsin High School State Honors Band concert at Overture Center, the only bari sax to be selected for the role.
She credits the band program at Algoma elementary and middle school for developing her talent.
“I started on the saxophone when I was in fourth grade,” she said adding that Jennifer Massey, Algoma elementary and high school band director, brought band instruments into the classroom and let the students select an instrument.
In eighth grade she switched to the bari sax.
“If I’m not sleeping or at school, a lot of the time I am practicing,” she said. “My passion for music has been there from the beginning, but now with more opportunities it is more fun.”
She has had the opportunity to play with “Big Mouth and the Power Tool Horns” as well as other bands her father has helped bring to the region.
Last spring she traveled to Appleton for the honors band audition and got the part.
She takes lessons from Logan Dier, a 2007 Algoma High School graduate, who received his music training at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Dier also composes music and specializes in production engineering.
Elizabeth is Logan’s only pupil.
“I have shied away from teaching, but Elizabeth is an exception,” he said. “It is nice to see someone with so much ambition and just raw talent.”
Logan also says that Massey inspired him to pursue a career in music. He plays with the rock and reggae band “Unity,” which travels all over the Midwest and performs more than 200 concerts a year.
Elizabeth is planning on studying music and education in college and hopes to travel after she gets her degree. She plans to become a band director.
Right now she prefers classical music, but said she hopes to explore more jazz.
“Music is something that you can share with people,” she said.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Baritone sax player Truckey goes to state