Roll the tape on Jessica Scrimshaw's life story and it would open with a crescendo of xylophone, accompanied by a spray of piano.
The details of the narrative would breathe with a sound track evoking images of marimba nights and Sundays with bells and chimes and even a little vibraphone.
At 16, Scrimshaw has saturated her daily affairs with mastering the percussion tools that enliven the Symphonic Band, while quietly laying out plans for a long, prosperous career in music.
The scene for her latest milestone unfolded at the recent Solo and Ensemble Contest, where she scored a perfect 40 for her marimba performance.
Fine art: percussion
Fine arts activities: Symphonic Band, Concert Chorale, For Women Only ensemble, musicals "Time and Time Again" and "Kilroy Was Here," piano student, All State Middle Level Honor Band
Most memorable art achievement: All-State Middle Level Honor Band
Favorite subject: Symphonic Band
Artist most admired: Scott Joplin
Favorite movie: "Titanic"
Favorite TV program: "Seinfeld"
Favorite food: egg rolls
Future plans: music performer, educator
Parents: Ron and Karen Scrimshaw of Merrifield
The laurel resulted in her selection as Fine Arts Student of the Week, despite her sophomore status. The acknowledgement normally is reserved for upperclassmen and women.
One of the earliest plot points of her life occurred in the first grade when she took up piano lessons from a private instructor. The next arose when she "picked up the mallets" for the xylophone and other percussion instruments as an eighth-grade member of Franklin Junior High School Band.
"My strength is feeling the music," she said in an interview this week. "Anyone can be a percussionist, but you have to understand what you are playing. Some people just hit the stuff (xylophone), but I play music.
"It's more a feeling than it is the notes on the page."
As a member of Symphonic Band, Scrimshaw plays the xylophones, bells, tympani and other percussion instruments where soft-headed mallets are used to strike the note.
An aspiring performer, Scrimshaw said she "really likes to go up in front of an audience," but will likely broaden the career limelight to include a college degree in music education, hopefully from Concordia College in Moorhead.
Her dream, she said, is to become a member of the college's Marimba Choir.
When she's not playing the many percussion instruments with Symphonic Band or singing with the Concert Chorale or For Women Only, Scrimshaw is rehearsing for a play.
Her acting-singing roles have included parts in "Time and Time Again" and "Kilroy Was Here." She's also earned a place at the All-State Middle Level Honor Band.
As a music performer, Scrimshaw said she's following a family path taken by father Ron and brother Scott, a BHS graduate. Both once played percussion in separate bands. Ron and Karen Scrimshaw operate an antique store in Merrifield, where the family resides.
"You don't have to be yourself when you perform," Jessica Scrimshaw said. "When you play an instrument, you can put your whole body and mind into it and you don't have to think of anything else."
Scrimshaw will solo at Symphonic Band's next concert in May, she said, a xylophone piece called "Yellow After the Rain" for marimba.
Damien Austin, senior, art: "Damien pulls some interesting creative results from his imagination," his art instructor said. "He has a great personal work discipline and well-designed projection solutions."
Stephanie Baileg, senior, Brainonian: She has successfully "plotted" more than 400 senior portraits for the 2000 Brainonian, said the Brainonian adviser.
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