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    The mythical man of music

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    Senior Spencer Anderson leads through balance and music

    Once upon a time there was a young boy, looking in the mirror, meticulously combing his hair, confirming every strand lay perfectly atop his head before school. Now stands a music teacher, club president, and Eagle Scout who has conquered high school without even “glancing in the mirror before [his] day”.

    Senior Spencer Anderson is involved in church, family, school, extracurriculars (music, clubs and Boy Scouts), his job (performing and teaching music) and hobbies (outdoor activities, cooking and running).

    “Balance is the biggest [aspect in my life]: balance between classes, family and friends, work and sleep, balancing on a slackline,” Anderson said.

    Growing up in a family of eight, spending time with his family is a huge fundamental of Anderson’s life. Anderson and his family have bonded, on  trails, bikes and slacklines between trees in their favorite, the High Sierras.

    “When I am in the mountains, I’m finally free of stress, social interaction, and concrete,” said Anderson as he nostalgically recalled the mountain he was the first person ever to scale, and he thus named Koab, after the northernmost star of his religion.

    Every morning Anderson’s alarm goes off, marking 4:30 AM. He laces up his shoes and meets his dad, Dave Anderson, to leave the house and begin a four mile run. Anderson won first place, this year, in the Mairin Ultra, a 50k in San Francisco with nearly 300 competitors.

    “Everytime I run, its it’s like I hit a big reset button. I get fresh perspective on issues I’ve been facing, and I feel re-energized,” said Anderson, who used to run cross country but found the sport too competitive, short distance, and fast, so his dad and he picked up Ultra Running as a way to bond. He fell in love with it.

    Every day after school, Anderson instructs 30 minute piano lessons. With his pointer stick tracing music notes, the kids listen attentively to Anderson as he explains G notes, sheet markings, finger placement, and tempo. Piano notes of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” fill the room as Anderson and his young prodigy prodigies play together.

    “I love teaching piano because the look on a kids kid’s face when they’re able to play a difficult maneuver…it’s magical and that’s why I do it. It’s about them and to see how they learned… It’s the coolest thing. I mean I love them so much,” explained Anderson with a boastful smile recalling his students.  

    His leadership skills shine through all aspects of his life, including being the oldest of his family, teaching kids, and being Interpreting Club president. Anderson credits his strong leadership skills to Boy Scouts where he has earned 26 merit badges– backpacking, rifle shooting, photography, and finance–enough to become an Eagle Scout.

    Anderson balances his schedule with half AP courses and half arts courses. He has  served as Treasurer of Interact Club, Vice President of International Club, and President of Interpreting Club.

    Anderson has become most connected to the band and music program.

    “I have tried so many things. I mean I tried Crimson everything from choir to cross country ceramics to drama. I just tried to get my feet wet in everything, so I guess I just know a lot of people,” said Anderson.

    Anderson has developed a special love for the music program with his long history of instruments starting in first grade. Now he plays “all the” musical instruments.

    In his zero period class, Jazz Band, deep sounds of the upright bass ripple through the air as Anderson plucks the strings of his favorite instrument. The connectivity of the class shows as they play their instruments led by band teacher, Kevin McDonald.

    “My favorite memory is when he decided to ‘go as McDonald for Halloween’; he cut his hair like mine, dressed like me, and learned my mannerisms (shockingly well – it was frightening!)… I walked out of my office to find Spencer on the conductor’s podium pretending to be me; I almost keeled over with laughter. Spencer has a deep love of music and shares this passion through his performing and mentoring younger musicians (including his siblings). He understands the importance of sharing knowledge and carrying the light of the arts!” McDonald said.

    Alongside Anderson in Jazz period is Tyler Anderson, his inseparable, younger brother and best friend.

    “Spencer and I have a unique relationship. While he has sporadic, adventurous ideas, I seem to be his quiet and supportive ‘reality checker.’ Last year, he convinced, trained and encouraged me to go on a five day backpacking trip to the the summits of uncharted and unclaimed mountains in the Sierra Nevadas with him. Not only did this experience change my life, but I grew closer to Spencer as I trusted my life with him as he navigated the vast mountain range,” said Tyler, sophomore.

    Ever since his brother was born the two have relied on each other for advice, help, fun, and  music.

    “For this past year, our outstanding music instructor, Mr. Mcdonald  has opened the wonderful door of jazz to my brother and me. We have become closer than ever this year as Spencer and I have spent countless hours together exploring, playing, and composing jazz. Music has brought us together more than anything else!” said Tyler, who sometimes wakes up at two in the morning to play music with his brother.

    After Anderson runs every morning, he goes to seminary for his church before school, freshman through senior year. His connectivity to his church will continue after high school as he plans to go on a two year Spanish speaking missionary trip to Salem, Oregon before attending his dream school, Southern Utah University for their pre med program. Anderson aspires to be a pediatrician after falling in love with working with kids and helping people.

    “I’ve just always wanted to [be] like those cliche missionaries: like the ‘hey do you want to hear about Jesus’. I’ve always been drawn to that because they don’t just do that. They also spend their time doing free service for people and I’ve always been drawn to that. I really like service. It makes me feel like I’m happy for an actual reason. It makes me feel a lot better than like if I just win something. I feel like I have gotten a footprint in here,” Anderson explained.

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