Though Anna Gray is just a freshman french horn player in the Stephenville High School Yellow Jacket Band, she has already made big strides at competitions by getting to area for all-region band and qualifying for state in her ensemble.

“It was a lot of stress, but it was worth it,” she said.

Gray made the decision to play french horn back in sixth grade.

“We had a show off where some of the high school kids would play their instruments,” she said. “There was one kid who played Harry Potter on the french horn and I was like, ‘I want to play that.’”

Gray said her freshman year has been a lot of fun, and that it’s different than junior high.

“I was not expecting it at all. In junior high you kind of lay low and then you get to high school and everyone is like, ‘go do something,’” she said with a laugh.

A goal Gray would like to achieve is to become more confident in herself and something she would like to do is audition for the section leader position next year.

“I’m really looking forward to that,” she said. “I like the leadership that comes with it and getting to know different people and getting to help other band members.”

Gray said someone who has been a big inspiration to her in band is Andrew Nance, SISD’s associate director of bands.

“He’s always pushing me to do things that I didn’t think I could do,” she said. “He’s been a big help in what I’ve done and what I’m going to continue to do.”

And even though she’s just started high school, Gray already has an idea of what she wants to do for a career.

“I want to be a physical therapist,” she said. “This marching season I couldn’t march because of my knee, I had knee surgery, and physical therapy was a big thing and it’s something I enjoy; getting to talk and help different people and go through it with them.”