Katie Lykins' musical and academic achievements read like a checklist on how to succeed at Brainerd High School.
Consider the facts: The 18-year-old senior is president of the Symphonic Band where she serves as trumpet section leader. She's anchored the section since her sophomore year, bypassing the Concert Band through audition.
As a trumpeter, Lykins has soloed at Symphonic Band concerts, played with the Jazz Ensemble and Dixieland Band, and received superior ratings at the solo and ensemble contests.
Her performances have earned a spot with the Central Lakes All-Conference Band, as well as her nomination as Fine Arts Student of the Week.
"Music is valuable to me in that it ... offers a sense of community and a way to wash away any problems that I may be having," Lykins said in an interview this week, shortly after receiving a $200 college scholarship from the band she leads.
In her role as band president, Lykins has spearheaded numerous fund-raisers, one of which resulted in a band excursion earlier this month to California, where the Symphonic group performed for 30 minutes at Disneyland.
When she's not tooting her horn, Lykins is singing with the A Cappella Choir, where she leads the second alto section.
As a musician, Lykins is following a family tradition, which began with sister Betsy, a BHS trumpet player who graduated in 1995, and continued with brother Mark, a 1997 graduate who played the trombone.
Her brother Scott, a freshman, is making waves as a cellist with the Chamber Orchestra.
"I guess we've always been exposed to music," said Lykins, who took piano lessons in her youth and started on the trumpet in sixth grade. "My sister Betsy started it and we've all followed in her footsteps."
An academic, Lykins' achievements include membership in the National Honor Society and designation as a national Merit Scholar finalist.
Over the years, she's accumulated a 4.14 grade-point average with advanced placement courses in literature, biology, calculus, language and composition, German, psychology, macroeconomics and music theory.
Phew! No wonder colleges from around the country are knocking at her door, a selection she's narrowed to Concordia College in Moorhead and Arizona State University of Tempe, both powerhouses in music education.
Lykins said she hasn't made a decision yet about her career, but one thing is certain: "I will always be involved in musical activities one way or another," she said.
Adrienne Larson, sophomore, drama: She played a role in the fall play and has one of the leads in the spring play, "Lady Windermere's Fan."
Lyndsey Barrer, senior, art: She is an "inventive design student who has continuously produced work far above the norm," her teacher says. "She not only has a great sense of design but she also knows how to put it to work."
Graham Lampa, senior, Fifth Street Journal: He wrote a major two-part series on the BHS math department.
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