STUDENT Spotlight
Ephraim and Ebban Dorsey, saxophonists

Student Spotlight is a regularly-updated feature that highlights Baltimore County Public Schools students involved in a wide range of activities and programs. In this Student Spotlight, Ephraim and Ebban Dorsey, Grade 7 and Grade 6 students, respectively, at Dundalk Middle School, discuss their growth as alto saxophone players. . (To see more student spotlights, click here.)

Student Spotlight
Ephraim and Ebban Dorsey
Dundalk Middle School, musicians

What instrument do you play?

Ephraim: Alto saxophone
Ebban: Alto saxophone and piano

 Which one of you began playing the saxophone first?

Ephraim: Me

How did you decide to play the saxophone?

Ephraim: My elementary school signed me up for band, and we already had a saxophone at home.  I chose the saxophone, so we wouldn’t have to buy another instrument.
Ebban: My sister plays in the jazz band at her high school, and I thought the saxophone sounded cool. Ephraim also told me that it would be easy to go from the recorder to playing the saxophone.

What do you enjoy most about playing the saxophone?

Ephraim: I like playing with older musicians and creating harmony with them.
Ebban: I like playing familiar melodies and improvising.

Where did you initially learn to play – in school, from a family member or friend, private lessons?

Ephraim: At school
Ebban: My brother taught me how to play my first notes.

Where have you studied music?

Ephraim + Ebban: School and a jazz camp at Loyola University of Maryland. Plus, every second Thursday, we have a lesson with Carl Grubbs. Every Saturday, we take four classes at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Every Monday, we have a private lesson at the Peabody Conservatory of Music

What is the most exciting place you have performed? Why was it exciting?

Ephraim: Artscape because it was my first time going to Artscape. It was very crowded, and we got a lot of people to listen to us. They also had a lot of neat displays.
Ebban: Caton Castle because they let us play one or two songs with the bands that play there.

Jazz is very collaborative. Who are some of the jazz performers or groups you have played with?

Spotlight Ebban and Ephraim at Fox 45 for an appearance on the news

Ephraim + Ebban: Todd Marcus, Craig Austin, Justin Thomas, Warren Wolf, Carl Grubbs, Blake Meister, Gregg Hatzle, Brett Collins, Ian Simms, Eric Kennedy

Do you plan to have a career as a musician?

Ephraim: Definitely. I think I want to… I know I want to travel the world and play music.
Ebban: Yes. I would like to bring jazz music back into popularity. I also play classical piano. I would like to use my musical talents to influence younger children.

What is your biggest dream as a musician? A recording contract? Playing on a certain stage or with a certain other musician?

Ephraim: I want to write my own music and sell a CD with my songs on it.
Ebban: I would like to play a song with all of the famous jazz musicians together at one time.

What honors and awards have you won as musicians?

Ephraim + Ebban: Two scholarships to Peabody, The Rosa Pryor Scholarship (with a trophy),  and The Next Generation Award from the Baltimore Jazz Alliance

Is there anything or anybody else that has influenced you?

Ebban: Yes. My dad has played the trumpet with jazz groups.


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