Superintendent’s Artist of the Week: Presley Forbes


Superintendent’s Artist of the Week: Presley Forbes

February 17, 2023

Sanfordville Elementary School music teacher Ryan Muehlbauer has a system for teaching fourth graders how to play the trombone. The first day of beginning band usually consists of showing the students how to take the instrument out of its case, put the pieces together and attempt the first sounds

That’s why he was surprised when he heard Presley Forbes already playing a song on day one. 

“On his very first lesson, in which we learn to make the first buzzing sounds with the lips, Presley was already able to fully assemble the instrument, hold it correctly, and make a beautiful trombone note,” Mr. Muehlbauer said.

Presley has rapidly risen to be one of the strongest musicians in the fourth-grade program. He is also the first fourth grade band student in many years to be accepted into the Orange County Music Educators Association (OCMEA) Elementary All County Band, which is open to students throughout Orange County in grades 4-6.

“The trombone is really fun to play,” said Presley, who taught himself to play ‘The Imperial March’ from Star Wars. “I think it sounds pretty cool, and the trombone kind of has the background melody for a song.”

Through his practice at home, Presley quickly learned the material covered in the beginning band curriculum and was ready for more challenging music. Mr. Muehlbauer and Presley decided that an All-County audition might be a good way for him to take his music reading and playing to the next level.

“When Mr. Muehlbauer gave me the piece of music, it looked really hard,” Presley said. “My grandpa is a musician, so he came over to my house and he helped me with the music. Then a few weeks later, I actually went to the school to try out for All-County. “

At the tryout, Presley performed a portion of the trombone solo, “La Voltigeuse”. He also played two memorized scales and did a sight reading. Two weeks later he found out he made the All-County Band and is now learning the music for the concert, which will be held at OCMEA festival weekend in April.

“The audition music was very challenging and definitely brought Presley out of his comfort zone,” Mr. Muehlbauer said.  “He’s definitely not one to back down from a challenge, and through at home practice and a few lessons during recess, he was able to learn it to a very high level. The competition for a spot in All-County Band is always tight and I’m thrilled that he was able to be selected this year!”

Presley also plays the drums in a band called “Linda and the Mustangs” at Rock Underground. His father is also an accomplished musician who plays the guitar in the band “Northern Tides”; Presley recently played trombone on a song his father’s band recorded.

Besides music, Presley also likes math, science and playing youth basketball.

Sanfordville Elementary School fourth grader Presley Forbes on Feb. 10, 2023. Presley is the Superintendent's Artist of the Week.


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