POR: Corey Jo Aday March 08, 2009

A girl and her golden horn

COREY ADAY, 14, not only is a gifted trombone player, but she also reads as many books as she can. She once read “The Hobbit” in two days whe she was 8.

If marching band was easy, they would have called it football.

That is one of many marching band jokes Corey Aday, 14, has Googled.

That saying makes her giggle and then say something to the effect of “no offense” to football players.

But seriously. “If a bee lands on your head, you tolerate it,” she said while holding her trombone in the air, practicing like she’s back on a football field in her marching band uniform.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever had to hold your arms up like this?” Her elbows are bent at an uncomfortable angle for most people. “Fifty seconds and you get tired. We had to do it for 10 minutes once,” she said. Aday is smart, funny, youthful and mature beyond her years. A dresser in her room has a spaceship made out of Legos on it and a copy of “God Emperor of Dune,” part of a sci-fi saga by Frank Herbert.

She has a presence that makes even adults sit up a little straighter. Her posture is impeccable.

Talking to her will make you want to go home, re-examine your book collection, and make a mental note to read more intellectual literature.

Her parents, Darryl and Cecile Aday, will tell you proudly that Aday read “The Hobbit” in two days — when she was 8 years old. She was reading Edgar Allan Poe for fun in middle school.

The teenager in her lights up when she talks about the “Twilight” series. The book was, like, better than the movie.

She’s a voracious reader, but her main love is playing the trombone.

When asked what the thing she likes most about herself is, she said, “my trombone-playing ability.”

Aday was the only student from Palisade High School to make the All State Jazz Band this year. She was one of four trombonists from the state in her division to be selected. As a freshman, that’s a feat virtually unheard of, said a couple of her teachers.

Palisade Band Director Jeff Mason said he’s only had one other student since he’s been at the school make the All State Jazz Band and that student didn’t make it until junior and senior years.

“I knew she had a chance (to make the state band),” Mason said. “I wasn’t really surprised, but I was amazed.”

Aday is Mason’s only female trombone player at the moment. Aday said she doesn’t get lonely being the only girl, though.

“It’s just something you kinda get used to,” she said. “You go talk to the flute players.”

That thought makes her laugh because saying that only girls play the flute is so stereotypical.

It’s like saying only boys play the trombone. There are a lot of stereotypes and cliches in high school.

“I’m a band geek and proud of it,” she said.

If someone called her that in school, she said she’d take it as a compliment.

Aday comes from a family of trombone players. Her mother played, as well as her grandmother and uncle.

“In elementary school you start out with a recorder, so I tried out flute and I was actually kind of good at it,” Aday said.

But then when she was in the sixth grade, her mother played the trombone for her. Aday picked up the brand new instrument and pressed it to her lips.

“When I gave her that horn, the first note she blew was as clear as a bell,” Aday’s mother said about that first time. “Every time she played a note, it was clear. I didn’t know she’d take to it like she did.”

“I just loved it,” Aday said. “It’s so much fun. It’s loud.”

A bass trombone’s middle F has been known to drown out an entire orchestra, she boasted.

She likes the instrument so much because of its range. She can play sweet melodies and dirty jazz.

During middle school Aday learned from Scott Davis at Mount Garfield Middle School and Ryan Crabtree, who has been giving Aday private lessons for four years. Crabtree’s also the band
director at Fruita Monument High School.

“Her work ethic is impeccable,” Crabtree said of Aday. “It’s amazing. I never have to tell that kid the same thing twice ... it’s almost like working with a college student at the age of 14.”

He said she has a natural ability as a musician.

“Any time I work with her, she’s making me better,” he said.

One week during a lesson Crabtree said he suggested she learn the euphonium, a low brass instrument. The next week she showed up at her lesson with one.

“I didn’t even have to teach her how to hold it,” Crabtree said.

At 14, obviously, Aday can’t drive.

Her parents take turns waking up at 6 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays to take Aday to her zero hour jazz band class. They go to every concert and competition she plays in.

“We do,” mom said.

“The close, the small, the near, the far,” dad said.

Her parents indeed go to everything.

“They’re troupers,” Aday said.

She’s grateful for her parents’ support. As an only child, Aday is very close to them. The three do everything together — from movie marathons to hiking fourteeners.

The family moved to Grand Junction from Seattle when Aday was 5 years old.

Aday’s mother is a piano accompanist and her father retired from Microsoft and owns a computer consulting business. The family lives on east Orchard Mesa. Their house backs up to a vineyard and since it’s close to the Colorado River, they see a ton of wildlife in their yard.

Aday was identified as a gifted and talented student when she was in first grade. She excels in math. As a freshman she’s taking pre-calculus.

But still, she stays true to her love of the trombone.

What’s her favorite class in high school?

“Oooh that’s hard,” Aday said. “Band.”

Besides band?

“Right now I’m going to have to say jazz band.”


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