Student spotlight: Dezhawn Dumornay


Sophomore saxophonist Dezhawn Dumornay dedicates himself to a musical career

Sophomore Dezhawn Dumornay has one element common to every aspect of his life: the saxophone. Dumornay discovered his passion in the sixth grade and has been playing ever since, developing an affinity for the instrument over the years.

“My life is better because of saxophone, because of music,” Dumornay said.

Although Dumornay first picked up the sax because “it looked cool,” he has grown to love it while dedicating time to teaching himself soprano, alto, tenor and baritone (or bari) saxophone.

“I can’t choose [a favorite] between tenor and bari. I love bari because I’m really good at it and I like the things you can do with it, it is fun to play,” Dumornay said. “And I like tenor because I like the smooth sound.”

Learning four variations of the same instrument may seem excessive to some, but Dumornay explains that no one saxophone fits every song.

“For different types of music, you need a different type of sound,” Dumornay said.

Beginning his freshman year, Dumornay has been simultaneously involved in not only one or two, but four school bands: Jazz Band, Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Pep Band at AHS.

“As a freshman, to get into symphonic band, that’s quite an honor,” band director Adam Hilkert said. “He’s definitely a terrific player. [He has a] great attitude in music. I love having him in the program.”

Dumornay has distinguished himself among his peers as a talented and dedicated musician who is constantly growing in his musical abilities and working towards his dream career.

“Out of all the musicians I’ve ever known, he’s the most energetic. I just love that guy, he’s an amazing musician,” senior Kamran Shahbaz said.

Dumornay participates further by creating arrangements for his marching band section to perform at events. His continual participation goes beyond the call of duty and inspires his bandmates on a daily basis.

“He is multi-talented. He is the best guy I’ve ever known, a writer, an inspirer, he pretty much carries me throughout the week,” band member sophomore William Chase said.

For the past two years, he has played with the Orchestra at the First Baptist Church of Alexandria and although he’s not teaching at the moment, Dumornay offers saxophone lessons to those who want to learn.

After practicing for a minimum of two to three hours four days a week, Dumornay dedicates still more time to his saxophone, writing and transcribing songs, using his instruments as a form of expression.

“I am very passionate about [music] and it lets you express yourself,” Dumornay said. “Since each person is different, they express themselves differently so the music is going to be different. I like to be creative and music is creative.”

All his work and effort will not go to waste: Dumornay has known since he was in eighth grade that he wants to pursue a career in music, and plans to continue playing saxophone.

“I want to become a doctor in music and I would like to teach music. So I would like to do music education and performance and composition and stuff like that,” Dumornay said.

Making a career out of the saxophone is a good fit for Dumornay; the instrument is an essential part of his life.

“[The saxophone] is very important. It gives me something to do. I love the way it sounds,” Dumornay said. “[I want a career in music] because I love music and because the saxophone has grown on me and it is what I love to do.”