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March 15, 2022 Achiever Stories

North High School tubist prepares to play Carnegie Hall

Michael Toben NHS
North High School junior Michael Toben is proving the sky is the limit if you stay focused on your goals. Michael was recently named as the tubist for NYO2 and will perform in Miami and New York City's Carnegie Hall this year.

Sioux City, Iowa – North High School junior Michael Toben is proving the sky is the limit if you have the desire to work hard. Michael was recently named as the tubist for NYO2, an orchestra program that includes the most talented of young musicians from across the country for performances in Miami and New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall.

It is a dream come true for the dedicated North High School musician.

“For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. I’ve always loved to sing, and I started playing cello at the age of five,” says Michael. “I started playing tuba at the beginning of fifth grade. My dad is a big fan of the tuba, and he made me excited about learning to play it.”

And playing, Michael has done. While his practice routine varies based on other school commitments, his dedication to the tuba has paid off. In addition to being named as the tubist for NYO2, he was also named as an alternate for NYO-USA and was the principal tubist for Iowa All-State Band.

“My motivation to continue practicing tuba is in the knowledge that when I have a productive practice, I will be a better player when I am finished than I was when I started,” says Michael. “I come from a musical family. My parents and sister are accomplished musicians in their own rights. I am thankful for all the support and encouragement they have given me over the years.”

When Michael isn’t practicing tuba, he listens to Oystein Baadsvik, a Norwegian tubist, and enjoys chess, cubing, and spending time with his family and friends. While he strongly believes in maintaining a healthy balance between his studies, music, and free time, Michael also has his eyes on the future.

“Next year, I will audition to be the tubist for the NYO-USA. I have accomplished many things over the years, and a successful audition for NYO-USA would be the culmination of many years of work. I was named alternate for NYO-USA this year, so I know it’s within my grasp if I put the work in,” he says.

It’s all about keeping focused on his goals adds Michael.

“If I could go back and have a conversation with my younger self, I would tell myself to stay the course. Keep learning, keep working, and keep being true to yourself.”