|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
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Drummer qualifies for regional band
BY BRIAN BESCH
LIVINGSTON -- It isn't often a student at Livingston High School makes All Region Jazz Band. It's even more rare for any student to accomplish the feat as a freshman. Brent Lensing, a freshman percussionist at Livingston High School, recently auditioned and qualified for the Region 10 TMEA All Region Jazz Band. Lensing had to prepare three pieces and know how to play multiple styles, like swing, funk, and latin, on the drum set. He was selected to be a part of the Region Jazz Band and also qualified in Area Jazz Band. "Brent is a great student that is full of lots of talent and potential," Livingston Band Director Al Torres said. "He is an amazing student that is responsible and practices to be the best." Lensing was the only freshman to make the Region Jazz Band and is the first student from Livingston High School to make the band since 2000. "Brent started playing with the high school band last year, when he was in eighth grade," his mother Lisa Lensing said. "He's never had a lesson in his life, it's all natural. This year, he decided to opt out of football and to go to Jazz Band. There were four of them that went from Livingston to compete for the Region Jazz. The rest were juniors and seniors, but he was the only one that placed out of his category. They allowed Brent to march in the band as an eighth grader because he went to the band camp before school started. It boiled down to they really needed another drummer and he just happened to be in eighth grade." Lensing's father, James, is also a musician. James played the drums in church until being removed by his talented son at the young age of nine. James decided to take up the guitar after Lensing moved into his old spot. As a small child, he played his drumsticks in the air during church. In elementary school, pencils were used as makeshift drumsticks, while his desk took a daily beating. In November, Lensing will travel with the area's best to play in a regional concert in Beaumont. Soon after discovering his results for Region and Area, Lensing had to record an audition to be submitted and judged. In November, Lensing's tape, along with all the others that qualified, will be critiqued to determine the members of the 2014 Texas All State Jazz Band.