'He has a gift’: Longview High School sophomore only student in state to accomplish musical feat
Longview — Robdrick Halton readied his contrabass clarinet.
“I haven’t played this in a while, so please excuse me if I squeak,” he said. The instrument let out a soft, long note, and away he went. His fingers blurred across the keys as he belted out a two-minute allegro piece with the precision of a seasoned professional.
The instrument is one of five the 15-year-old Longview High School sophomore plays — and Halton is the only student in Texas named All-Area on instruments in two musical families. He recently placed second on the contrabass clarinet among high school students in Texas.
“It’s very difficult to get to the state level,” said Louis Robinett, LHS band director. “There are thousands of people he is going against, and he is in the top 1 percent of people who tried out. When you have a sophomore who is playing several instruments, it’s just incredible.”
Halton qualified for All-Area on the French horn, which is the instrument he first started playing when he joined the Judson Middle School Band.
“He’s a very versatile musician,” Robinett said. “He can play French horn, clarinet, tenor sax and cello, and now he’s going to learn to play trombone. He can pick up just about anything, really.”