Jordan George, an Oak Harbor High School senior, made this year’s All-Nation Honor Band as a tubist. Photo by Daniel Warn/Whidbey News Times

Oak Harbor tubist makes all-nation band

Oak Harbor High School senior Jordan George made this year’s All-Nation Honor Band as a tubist.

But despite the success, he doesn’t believe that practice makes perfect.

Instead, George would say that practice opens the door for greater and deeper lengths of more practice — a door he walks through every day.

“Practice, practice, practice — always practice,” George said of his musical philosophy. “Even if you feel like you’ve gotten enough practice, keep practicing.”

George has been playing the tuba for six years, ever since sixth grade, when he started out on a smaller tuba, called a baritone or euphonium.

“I chose the tuba because I really enjoyed the bass-y sound of it,” George said. “Since I was little, I’ve really loved the rumbling sound of bass.”

In fact, he likes the sound so much, he plays the bass guitar in his rock band — Second Left — which will appear in the Oak Harbor Music Festival, and he plays the upright bass.

Thanks to an unfortunate mishap, though, tuba has dominated George’s interests.

“I once broke a school tuba because I was messing with the mouthpiece and it got stuck,” he said. “I tried pulling it out, and it ended up bending the tube.”

Since there was no other school tuba for him to play, his grandparents bought him his own. That extra access to the instrument is what started his true passion.

After countless hours of practicing that brand-new tuba, George tried out for the middle school all-state band.

“At first, I didn’t even know what all-state was, but I said, ‘I’ll do it,’ just to see what happens,” George said. “I ended up getting in and realized what it actually was.”

George recalls being shocked at being chosen as one of the best middle-school tubists in the state.

When high school hit, George doubled down on his practicing hours.

According to Brandon Nelson, the Oak Harbor High School band teacher, George “is relentless” about improving. Nelson said George even seeks out other teachers for extra opinions, all because he wants further criticism.

George banked all that rehearsal and won a spot on the high school all-state band his junior year.

“After I went to all-state that time, that’s when I realized I’m talented with the tuba,” he said. “I felt like I should keep going with it.”

And the All-Nation Honor Band is glad to have him.

Yet George doesn’t want all the focus to be on his success. He wants to give some encouragement to help others achieve their dreams as well.

“Don’t get discouraged if somebody is better than you, or somebody is dragging you down or thinks that you’re not the best,” George said. “If you keep practicing, at some point you will be better than those other people.”

Oak Harbor High School senior Jordan George practices for the All-Nation Honor Band in his school’s band room Thursday morning. Photo by Daniel Warn/Whidbey News Times

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