Senior Named CFISD’s Student of the Week

Sowell+has+left+a+remarkable+impact+with+his+time+in+band.
Sowell has left a remarkable impact with his time in band.

Sowell has left a remarkable impact with his time in band.

Courtesy of Dennis Sowell

Courtesy of Dennis Sowell

Sowell has left a remarkable impact with his time in band.

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Music. What is music? There doesn’t seem to be any true definition of music, with people bounding back and forth between trends of what defines music and what doesn’t. For some, it is a basic human condition that must be provided, while for others it is one of the highest luxuries. For senior James Sowell, music is a core part of life.

Sowell was named CFISD’s Student of the Week in early September for his outstanding achievements in music. Among his accomplishments, he is No.5 on Bassoon in the state of Texas, top seven on state band rosters for the fourth time, and is first, second and fourth alternate on three instruments.

Sowell is a model student everywhere, but he shines the brightest in band. It’s common to hear that most people in band only like it because it’s a requirement. Sowell however, thinks differently, and has a more in-depth appreciation for this art form.

“It’s a different class than the regular classes, like math or history,” he said. “Instead of sitting down listening to lectures and doing homework, I get out my instrument and I just express myself musically.”

It’s because of this atmosphere that Sowell wishes to continue his time in the band hall long after his time here is done. After his graduation, he plans to be a band director. His top choice school is the University of Texas, where he wants to get his Bachelor’s in Music. To prepare himself for his future career, he has worked with Ready-Set-Teach to get more experience in teaching. He believes that he always wanted to help people, and band has always been a big part of his life.

James looks up to all of the band directors at Cy-Ranch, but if he had to decide who was most important influence in his life, he would say his father. His father helped him with band and helped him get on his feet when he was first starting out.

“[My dad] taught me all these fundamentals and these strategies for practicing, for just getting rhythms down,” Sowell said. “He’s a piano player, so when I’m practicing he’s on the piano helping me understand the rhythms.”

James’ background had really affected his character earlier in his life. His time before Cy Ranch was a very easy and boring experience and he now feels like he is truly challenged in his high school career.

“I used to come from a small school, where it was not competitive,” Sowell said. “It was very small, and you didn’t have many aspirations. But here at Cy Ranch, it’s so competitive from GPA to what you’re going to get on your cuts in band.”

All in all, Sowell is a very dedicated person who definitely deserves this award. Although James feels as though he “doesn’t deserve this award,” his story and his aspirations say otherwise.

“I used to be so much more lazy, more lackadaisical, not very inspired to do much,” he said. “But, once I came to Cypress Ranch, seeing how much camaraderie there was within band and the other students, it just really changed me and actually pushed me for greater success in my life.”

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