Grant “tuba man” Lane, a Pryor High School senior, has earned a place in the Tulsa Youth Symphony Orchestra.
“I’m not really one to brag, but it is nice seeing my hard work paying off,” Lane said.
Since Lane is a member of both the Pride of Pryor band and TYSO, he puts in several hours of practice every day.
Ron Wheeler, head director of TYSO, describes just how difficult it is to earn a place in this orchestra. “We hold auditions every spring. The application information is sent to every school in the Tulsa area. Interested students apply and are scheduled an audition date,” Wheeler said. The orchestra accepts about 150 students total, which means tough competition for over 250 musicians who audition.
Lane is appreciative, and credits some of his success to, Roy Jackson, the Pryor band director. “Mr. Jackson really got me started on music. He is a devoted teacher and has become a good role model for me,” Lane said.
“He’s taught me life lessons, as well as music ones,” Lane said.
Lane said Jackson helped him find his way to the tuba, which he instantly loved.
“Grant is only the second or third student I’ve ever had to play in the Tulsa Youth Symphony Orchestra. It’s quite the accomplishment. I’m very proud of him,” Jackson said.
Lane is focused on his music and intends to make a career of it.
“I know people who give up music, and they always regret it,” Lane said. Rather than giving up, Lane’s ambition is to be part of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
“Grant is such a great kid I hardly know where to begin,” Pete Peterson, Lane’s director at TYSO said, “I haven’t known him long, but I can tell he is extremely driven. He’s a fabulous tuba player.” Lane impresses with more than his musical ability, however.
“He always goes over and beyond. He supports his fellow players. I admire him,” Peterson said.
Peterson believes this is an excellent opportunity for students, because they are given the orchestral experience that most public schools do not offer. Time spent in the TYSO opens other doors.
“If the New York Philharmonic is his goal, I definitely think he has the playing ability and work ethic to get there. If he keeps up like he is, practicing hard and staying focused, he will absolutely get there. He has the chops for it, for sure,” Peterson said.