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I immersed myself in music, and it became a defining aspect of my life.Music has always served as a constructive release from the pressures of school for me.I first came to the National Matches when I was in the 9th grade, entering my first match with a beat up old M1 carbine that my grandfather loaned me and earning a gold medal right out of the chute.This experience got me hooked on competitive rifle shooting, and the National Matches have been a yearly occurrence for the Stout family ever since.It has also helped me to kindle friendships that have stood the test of time.In short, I wouldn’t trade the memories I have made in band for anything in the world.I’ve never felt any pressure from my dad to compete at as high a level as I do, just the pride and joy of a father who gets to share something he loves with his boys.
The day I went to the music store to buy my first trumpet, my mom (who also studied at U of M), showed me a video of the Michigan Marching Band.
I didn’t put any pressure on myself this year to shoot a particular score in any of the matches, and I think this allowed me to relax and focus on what I needed to do.
I concentrated on my fundamentals of breathing and trigger control, and didn’t let myself get distracted by thinking about what my scores were in between stages of the matches.
I thought “Wow, it would be so cool if I could be part of that someday! From then on, I knew that this was where I was meant to be.
I practiced hard in high school knowing that I wanted to audition for the band once I got accepted into U of M.