The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

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The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

NMSU freshman awarded spot in three band ensembles

Carlos Herrera
Silas Manges, a member of NMSU’s Wind Symphony, Pride of New Mexico Marching Band, and the first chair lead saxophone in the Jazz Ensemble.

Like most musicians, Silas Manges fell in love with music at a young age, but his strong dedication paved his path to success. Manges, a freshman at New Mexico State University studying music education, was awarded a spot in NMSU’s Wind Symphony, Pride of New Mexico Marching Band, and the first chair lead saxophone in the Jazz Ensemble. 

“I am very excited to be recognized for the hard work that I have put in,” Manges said. 

Eight years ago, Manges picked up the saxophone for the first time, not knowing the positive impact it would have on his life. Deciding to join his middle school band was the start of his journey. 

“I kind of just went for it,” he said. “Everybody in my family usually did sports, and I enjoyed music, so I just started to do it.” 

Manges became immersed in the band culture and played in the marching band throughout high school. He continued to push himself when he enrolled at NMSU and auditioned for each of the band ensembles. 

NMSU’s Director of Bands and Director of Wind Symphony, Michael Mapp, said this accomplishment requires a high level of skills and commitment.  

“Silas is a very talented freshman,” Mapp said. “Very few freshmen often make the Wind Symphony their first semester. It’s a good opportunity for him because he’ll be playing alongside much more mature musicians, as most of them are juniors and seniors.” 

Mapp said there are only four freshmen out of the 60 students in the Wind Symphony. 

“I hope that it will continue to motivate him to work hard and inspire him to continue on his musical path,” Mapp said. 

Manges explained that the auditions were intense and required hours of practice, but so far, he enjoys the culture, his fellow bandmates and mentors. 

“Everybody is real good to each other and watches out for each other,” Manges said. “Everyone is understanding and great at helping each other out. My saxophone professor, Dr. Taylor has helped me out a lot along with the band directors.”  

Rhonda Taylor, NMSU associate professor of saxophone and music theory, served as a mentor to Manges before he became a student at the university.  

Silas began taking saxophone lessons with me while he was a junior in high school and continued until starting this fall semester as a music education major here at NMSU,” Taylor said. “I also coached his high school saxophone quartet. Something that impressed me right away about Silas was his dedication to improving; he was already mature and focused enough to accept constructive criticism in lessons while in high school.” 

Now as his professor, Taylor said the only aspect that has changed is the significant increase of responsibility Manges now possesses. Manges said there is rarely a time when he is not practicing.  

“I am pretty much here [at NMSU’s Music Center] every single day from morning to night,” Manges said. “In high school, you were almost babied. Now, everyone is just expected to do it and it just makes us better and better.”  

Taylor is not hesitant Manges has what it takes to continue to pursue his passion.  

“Students are expected to practice for a few hours per day in order to keep up with the high expectations of the degree, it’s a faster and more intense pace than high school lessons,” Taylor said. “Silas making these elite groups as a freshman will only help him continue to grow. Since I began working with him, he has grown both as a musician and as a leader. I am 100% confident that he has what it takes to succeed in our program and I’m excited for his future.” 

Manges’ musical journey is just beginning, and he hopes to one day travel the world, teaching others the power of music.  

“Whether it is just a little bit a day, or whether it is your career, people need music in their lives,” Manges said.   

Any student, regardless of their major, can audition to join NMSU’s band ensembles. For more information, visit the University Bands website.

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth McCall
Elizabeth McCall, Staff Writer
Elizabeth McCall is entering her first year with The Round Up as a Staff Writer. She is a senior at NMSU majoring in Journalism & Media Studies with a minor in communications. She was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico but grew up in Edgewood, New Mexico. Elizabeth discovered her love for writing in middle school, when her love for reading evolved. She became interested in journalism in high school, and since then it has become a passion. She spends most of her time reading and writing, but also loves music, playing with her dog, hiking, and spending time with her husband, family and friends. Elizabeth hopes to make a positive impact at The Round Up and grow as a writer and journalist.
Carlos Herrera
Carlos Herrera, Multimedia Specialist
Carlos Herrera is entering his second year at The Round Up as a Multimedia Specialist. He is currently a senior in his undergraduate degree in Information Communication Technology. Carlos is looking forward to this year in expanding his love for graphic design and perfecting his photography while capturing "those big Aggie moments". He enjoys being active in everything he does, and also enjoys spending time with those important to him in his downtime.

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