Tuttle twins find success in music

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lexy Tuttle has been selected to be a part of the 2012 Class 1A-2A All-State Jazz Band. This senior has been dedicated and committed to music since she joined band in elementary.

She received great support from her parents, Tim and Sandy Tuttle, but perhaps her greatest supporter has been her older sister, Kerstin, who has also excelled in music. By the way, Kerstin, who is only two minutes older, also excels at music.

Music director Ryan Meyer calls the twin sisters "unique".

"Our mom wanted us to go out for band and we've been on the run with it since," said Lexy. "We both really enjoyed it and found success."

Lexy began playing the flute, an "outstanding flutist," Meyer calls her, and has learned to play the tenor sax and the clarinet as well. "It's pretty rare to find someone that plays at the level she does with all three instruments," Meyer said.

Kerstin began band playing the French horn and has enjoyed it greatly. When the need arose for an acoustic bass player for the jazz band, she jumped on the idea and also found success at it as well. So much that her parents purchased her a bass.

This year's jazz band selections included a piece with Lexy playing a solo on tenor sax and Kerstin accompanied on bass. They have been able to practice the piece at home, besides during regular practice at school, and have perfected it.

The girls commented on each other.

"Kerstin has improved a lot (playing bass) and that's exciting," said Lexy. "I never thought of her as a bass player. She's an important part of the group and of my personal success."

Kerstin shared, "It's cool to see how talented she is. It's cool to say, 'that's my twin!'"

And Meyer said this about the twins. "they understand what needs to be done and they know what I expect. They are leaders and set examples for everyone."

The twins have greatly appreciated all the other musicians in the band and jazz band and the music they have made together. They are proud to be a part of the groups.

The A-A Jazz Band has earned a spot at the state competition April 10; this is the third trip the Tuttles have been a part of. The band earned fourth place during their sophomore year and third place last year.

In addition to being musicians, the sisters work hard in their studies and are on the A honor roll. Both have enjoyed speech and Kerstin is a great artist.

Music, they said, is just one piece of their puzzle.

"Music is one of my biggest points of pride in my high school career," said Lexy. "Music is one of the best things to be involved in. It's not like a sport where you sit on the bench if you're not good enough. There's no second place. Everyone is important. I feel good about what I've accomplished and what everyone else in the band has done."

Kerstin echoed the thoughts on music. "Music is a place to go. It truly let's you know what you're capable of. It takes discipline and a lot of hard work."

They are thankful now that their parents pushed them when they were young and they thank them for the opportunities that they gave them.

Once they graduate from high school, they aren't done with music. Both will attend University of South Dakota and both will be in the concert and jazz bands. At this point, neither plans to major in music.

Oh, and little brother Wyatt has started his journey down music lane. A six grader, he plays the flute and Lexy has been giving him pointers on how to improve.

Lexy will gather with the other musicians across the state selected for the All-State Jazz Band on May 9 at Drake. The combined band will perform May 10 at the Iowa Bandmaster Association Convention.

Cheering Lexy on will no doubt be her twin sister.

Selected as alternate for the All-State Jazz Band was Kate Carlson, also a senior at Alta-Aurelia High School