Vidal M. Trevino School of Communications and Fine Arts and Martin High School junior Jesus Martinez has been accepted to the prestigious and world-renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts Residency Program for his senior year of high school.

Of the $81,000 tuition, Martinez was awarded about $40,000 through financial aid and a merit scholarship based on academic merit, to attend his senior year of high school at Interlochen in a classical performance in Tuba beginning in the fall of 2024.

“When I heard that I was admitted to Interlochen it was very surreal. It's the best private school in the country for music and fine arts,” said Martinez. “Thousands and thousands of students audition every year and this year I was one of the few that were accepted. So, it’s such a big accomplishment for me that I didn't really realize what I had done until a couple weeks later. It’s still slowly sinking in.”

While attending Interlochen, Jesus hopes to use this opportunity to hone his skills and prepare for his future.

“I hope to become a better musician because I know the low brass instructor there is probably the best in the country,” said Martinez. “I just hope I'm going to be able to get a lot out of it. The main thing is I want to get accepted into a great university. I hope to make it into a Conservatory and I know Interlochen is one of the programs that's going to help me that.”

Jesus learned about Interlochen through one of his close friends who attended one of their Summer Camps.

“He came back from that camp and he was 10 times better than when he left,” said Martinez. “Just the way he went about himself. His mannerisms, the way he spoke, and everything just seemed to be at an elevated level. So that is what motivated me to want to attend Interlochen.”

Martinez, who has been playing the tuba since sixth grade, slowly found his passion and love for the tuba when he entered high school.

“It's been said that the tuba isn't really an instrument that you look for, it's more of an instrument that finds you,” said Martinez. “Just like every other player that I've known, no one has started playing tuba. They sort of were forced into it or it was their last option.”

“Overtime I just slowly began getting more and more into the tuba and developing my passion for it. I started focusing on how to improve as an overall musician,” added Martinez. “I attribute that new-found passion for the tuba to when I first heard Allan Baer’s rendition of “Café 1930. Afterwards, I became more involved in my study of the tuba.”

“I researched the different players and their approaches to practicing music and seeing so many different virtuosos’ performance at such a high level,” he continued. “It makes me want to be able to do that.”

Among the educators and mentors who have been supporting Martinez in his dreams are John Reimund, VMT Low Brass Instructor and his band instructors at Martin High School.

“Mr. Reimund, my instructor at VMT has sort of been the main person helping me out. He is such a great teacher and I can’t thank him enough,” said Martinez. “At Martin High School I don't like to really limit myself. Instead of going just to Mr. Padilla the assistant band director in charge of low brass, I also go to Mr. Trevino who is the woodwind director and he's a saxophonist. So, I sort of go to all my teachers to get a little help. I pick and choose from their advice and I see what works for me. I see what sort of aligns with my views.”

“It gives me great satisfaction to see how this young man has grown in the last three years and I am so proud of him. He came in and he was hungry to learn muisc. Every year he just kept learning and researching about music. He would just take a lot of his own initiative,” said Reimund. “So really most of the credit goes to him. I'm just really glad that I had some hand into this maybe just by giving him some guidance. I'm very proud of his progress.”

“At Martin high School we're all very proud of Jesus. It's quite evident that a lot of the hard work that he's put in is an example of what comes from the house,” said Martin High School Band Director Bobby Castro. “We celebrate all the successes he's done thus far as a junior. It’s very exciting to see that he's been accepted at Interlochen in Michigan. It's the work that he's done at VMT under the direction of Mr. John Reimund, the instructors at Martin High School, and everybody that's cheering him on. It's a big honor to be asked to join the students at Interlochen next year, so his hard work has paid off.”

Martinez is also one of the state top tuba players. This year, Jesus was also selected as a member of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Band. He received a first chair in Tuba at the Area finals earning him a spot in the 2024 TMEA All-State Band Concert. 

“All-State was probably one of the best experiences I've had so far. At first, it didn't hit me until I was rehearsing with the band. It was probably one of the best bands that I've been a part of and that I've even heard live,” said Martinez. “It was overall just a really shocking experience. From the director, to the players, to anybody who was helping they were all very efficient and motivated.”

To help defray the cost to attend Interlochen, Martinez has set up a GoFundme account. To help Jesus with further cost please click on the following link https://gofund.me/381a77d7.

Jesus’ goal is to be in a professional orchestra and pursue his passion for music. He eventually wants to be a teacher and band director. “I want to instill the same passion for music as my own directors have done for me.”