Senior Arianna Chaves Has Made Her Mark Mentoring Her Peers

Orchestrating her future


Credit to Jordan Milewczik

Senior Arianna Chaves plays “Vesuvius” in symphonic band. Chaves has been a member of the band program for all four years of high school. She has participated in the marching band for four years, the symphonic band for three years and the concert band for one year.

Shocked. Thrilled. Humbled.

These are the emotions that senior Arianna Chaves feels when she adds an honor to her quickly growing list. In the past four years, Chaves has received three gold/superior rankings at the Solo and Ensemble competition for Band, attended the State Solo and Ensemble competition, named a National Merit Finalist and scored a 36 on her ACT.

“I didn’t even know half of those things existed coming into high school,” Chaves said. “I didn’t know how high school worked at all, I didn’t know how public school worked at all. So I came in with an open-mindset, I think that was the big thing. I came in and I was like ‘Ok, I’m going to do what I feel like would be the best for me and the best for who I’m around.’”

Though Chaves’ academic accomplishments have gained more notoriety, she considers her role in band as playing a larger part in her life.

“To everyone else, the academics [legacy] is going to be more important, but the one that hits closer to me and that leaves more of a mark in my heart is band,” Chaves said. “I’ve been affected most by band and I think I leave more of an effect on band.”

Chaves’ love for band began her freshman year where she was mentored by then-sophomore Ashley Rastener. Rastener encouraged Chaves to pursue her love of music by competing in events like the solo and ensemble competitions.

“She was a big reason why I got so big into clarinet and I was in districts,” Chaves said. “We performed a lot together in marching band and for solo and ensemble. We ended up making State junior year. Even in school, she was an excellent student in school and in AP classes, so she kind of helped me work through that as well.”

As the curtains begin to close on her time in the band room, Chaves looks to her section members to continue in the lessons she has taught them and to continue to progress in their musical careers. Chaves is currently the clarinet section leader, following in her mentor’s footsteps, and she does everything she can to provide the same inspiration to her section members.

“Especially during the marching season, when she was leading us, she was always willing to put forth everything that she had for us and she’s willing to sacrifice things to put us first and it was really inspiring to me honestly,” Clarinet Section freshman Brooke Dyson said. “Just to see how she’s just really good at putting other people before her and that she puts into what she does is just, it’s amazing to me.”

Chaves will continue in her academic career at Missouri S&T in the fall. Though going in undecided, Chaves hopes to do something with engineering and math. Though she’s leaving, Chaves hopes her bandmates will remember her as someone who was willing to help anyone.

“More so than any of the things that they post up on the front of the school or any of that, I want to be remembered as someone who was willing to help other people with assignments and just understanding things,” Chaves said. “I want to be an example that you don’t have to be good at everything, you don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself. The biggest thing is to take the opportunities that come to you.”