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Bassist lays down a top score

Colonie’s Tristen Jarvis follows a passion for music

Tristen Jarvis was the only student from the South Colonie School District invited to play at the NYSSMA All-State Music Festival in Rochester this past November.

Tristen Jarvis was the only student from the South Colonie School District invited to play at the NYSSMA All-State Music Festival in Rochester this past November. Photo by Zan Strumfeld.

— “He kind of veered away from sports,” Patricia Jarvis, Tristen’s grandmother, said. “His music is his home run. His music is his touchdown. His music is his goal. It’s no different than someone playing another sport.”

By the end of seventh grade, he completely stopped playing sports and began taking private lessons.

“I was like, ‘Well, I think I should learn it more intensely.’ (With private lessons) you learn faster,” Jarvis said. “Use it for your advantage. I don’t like when people go, ‘Oh, you’re just good ‘cause you took private lessons.’ But you should want to because it makes you better. So you’re giving yourself a disadvantage by not.”

Jarvis also said his school’s music department has helped shape him over the years, and couldn’t feel more blessed.

“I guess I’ve been fortunate to have so many awesome people to be around. It’s so different than any other department,” he said.

Since he found his passion early on with the fourth grade music program, Jarvis and his grandmother are worried that the school may soon be forced to cut some of the art and music departments in the coming year.

“I don’t feel like anybody knows how important the music program is,” Jarvis said. “If you just look at the facts with the music program, almost every kid is right at the top. And they’re always the most successful.”

With such an ambitious musician, Jarvis’s current orchestra teacher Peter Cannistraci said it is “hard to think of our music department without thinking of him.”

“He really is Mr. Music around here. He’s just doing so much music that I think he goes above and beyond as far as involvement,” Cannistraci said. “He really takes the cake I think as far as student involvement, and he’s only a junior, which is great because that means we get him next year, too.”

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