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Aidan Dumain: Following Two Passions

Aidan Dumain was initially resistant to joining his middle school jazz band. He thought it would be too difficult. But once his band director won him over, he was quickly taken with the music, drawn to its harmonies and the freedom to improvise. By 11th grade, he was one of the best high school jazz trumpet players in the state of North Carolina. His musical resume includes his school’s jazz band, the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble and the All-Region and All-State Jazz Bands.

Now, Dumain, a recipient of the Miriam Bailey Gardner Music Scholarship for trumpet performance, can add the Department of Music’s premier big band — the NC State Jazz Orchestra — to this already impressive list.

“Music is something that makes me happy,” said Dumain. “I’m not going to be doing it for my job so I don’t have pressure about being the best in the world. I practice pretty much every day, so it’s a big part of my life. It’s something I can find a little bit of joy in every day.”

Dumain is majoring in chemical engineering and has always enjoyed science and math. His interest in engineering puts him in good company in the jazz program — 58% of the student-musicians in jazz big bands and combos are pursuing engineering majors.

The pairing of a world-class engineering program and a thriving jazz program was what convinced Dumain to attend NC State. He’s looking forward to traveling to Chicago with the jazz orchestra in December to perform at the 76th Annual Midwest Clinic. The big band is the first collegiate ensemble of any kind from North Carolina to be honored with an invitation to the prestigious music education conference.

“There are lots of great players in the top big band here at NC State, so it’s really rewarding that I get to play with them,” he said. “My motivation for practicing and becoming better is that I would like to be a player that my fellow band members can count on to be a good musician and handle anything that the music asks of me.”

Originally published by University Communications.