It started with a trumpet. Then the piano and now the guitar. Dominic Lyczewski, an eighth-grade student at Selah Middle School, is dedicated to growing as a musician.
The 13-year-old’s love of music will take him all the way to New York this summer to take part in the 2022 Middle School Honors performance series at Carnegie Hall. Local business owners, community members and organizations made donations to help fund the trip.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the performance part because they’re the best college kids in the world,” Lyczewski said. “Who wouldn’t be looking forward to that?”
For five days in June, Lyczewski will work with other dedicated young artists and master musicians to rehearse for the Carnegie Hall show, scheduled for June 18, according to the program’s website. Program participants will see New York landmarks and a Broadway show.
His music teacher at Selah Middle School, Sara Gross, nominated him. Her husband helped Lyczewski submit his audition materials.
“I would say he’s definitely one of those kids that stands out,” Gross said. “His posture is just a little taller, his instruments always at the right angle.”
It took a few months after submitting his registered application before he learned that he had been accepted. Lyczewski said that upon learning he had been cast, he was shocked.
Why? “Because there are so many people who are better than me,” he said. “But then I realized it’s not necessarily how well you play, it’s how hard you persist.”
Lyczewski started the trumpet three years ago – after deciding the trombone would be too heavy to carry around all the time, he said.
He also learned to play the family piano using his trumpet sheet music, he said. Recently, he took up the guitar, learning a few chords from YouTube videos.
He practices his trumpet every day before school and during music lessons, with occasional weekend rehearsals, he said.
Lyczewski and Gross noted his growth as a musician during his college career. He worked his way up to the first chair and is the head of the trumpet section, Gross said.
“His confidence, in terms of his confidence in his abilities, has really blossomed over the last couple of years,” she said.
As a member of the college orchestra, Lyczewski performed at local concerts and parades.
“I think I thrive under the pressure to play because it pushes me to be my best self and be the best I can on my instrument at that moment,” he said. .
He said he planned to continue with music throughout high school and had ambitions to go to the US Naval Academy and play in the band there.
When he’s not rehearsing or doing his homework, Lyczewski enjoys reading fantasy books, playing video games, and practicing karate. He studies at Goju-Ryu Karate in Selah and is a second degree junior black belt.
His grandmother, Rhonda Fuwell, said he helped young karate students. Paying it forward and helping others are two values she finds important, she said.
Fuwell was happy and surprised when she learned that her grandson had earned this opportunity.
“It was a huge thing for him just to be nominated for that, and then when he was selected it was like, OK, we have to go and we’re going to make this happen. Whatever it costs, we will get there,” she said.
Tuition for the program alone is $2,300, according to the Honors Performance Series website. Participants must also cover travel costs to New York and meals during the trip.
Lyczewski and her grandparents have been touring local businesses and community organizations to raise funds to help cover the costs. The community responded with several donations.
He said Bill Harris Used Cars, Pingrey Ford, Goju-Ryu Karate, Selah Family Dentistry, Selah Veterinary Hospital and Selah’s Domino’s Pizza all donated. Several people also helped.
Bill Harris said he believes in helping the community that has also supported him for decades.
“When you live in a community and you’re lucky enough to have a business in a community, and I’ve been in auto sales for 46 years, we like to give back to people in our own community,” he said. he declares.
Lyczewski, whose grandfather is a Marine veteran, also received donations from local American Legion posts and Veterans of Foreign Wars. As part of VFW’s contribution, he will learn tap dancing and perform at the funerals of four veterans when he graduates from high school, he said.
“So he can give back to the community that helps him achieve his goals,” Fuwell said.