Brady Franklin: Playing French horn, twirling in contests

While many Frenship High School students may have slept in a few extra hours and gloried in the fact that there was no school Monday morning, some music students spent the day performing at the Texas Solo-Ensemble Contest.

Brady Franklin, a soon-to-be sophomore, is one of the latter, but she was a little busier even than her peers.

Franklin qualified to perform a solo on French horn and in an ensemble effort as a member of the twirling line at the contest at the University of Texas in Austin.

Unlike some of her twirling peers, she only began twirling a year and a half ago.

“A lot of the other girls on the varsity twirling line have been twirling since they were 5 or 6. Very, very young,” she said. “I feel as if I’m at a disadvantage, because I haven’t been twirling as long as them. But I do believe I’m keeping up quite well.”

Franklin, who takes private twirling lessons, will be on the varsity line next year. She said twirling appealed to her because she can dance and express herself through movement with the song. She also likes to perform, she said.

Twirling is made easier by her musical background, she said. She’s been playing French horn since sixth grade and has played piano since elementary school.

“I think I’m musically inclined, and that helps with the twirling, to keep my beat and rhythm and balance,” she said.

Tom SoRelle, the FHS band director, said Frenship twirlers are a bit unusual in that they are members of the band and play instruments.

“I think it’s kind of unusual,” he said. But because the Frenship band is set up that way, he said occasionally FHS will have a student who can compete in both of the disciplines.

“I’m very proud of her,” said SoRelle. “She’s going to have a lot of running around to do on that campus.”

To qualify to do an instrumental solo, students must earn an I, or superior rating, while playing music that has been memorized. Franklin performed the third movement of Mozart’s Concerto No. 4 on French horn.

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