Wheeling Park High School senior Vance Mazure is doing all he can to make his final year as a Patriot one he will never forget.
He said he’s off to an excellent start.
“I’m the field commander for the marching band, and it’s been great this year,” Mazure said. “The environment and the attitude (of the band) have been amazing. It’s been great in the past, but it’s never been this much fun.”
Mazure said he was thrilled to be named the field commander for the Wheeling Park High School Marching Band. However, being the field commander isn’t his only high-profile role. Mazure is also co-captain of this year’s Wheeling Park High School Speech and Debate Team.
This year’s speech and debate team will look to claim its 40th consecutive West Virginia championship. Mazure said the pressure to continue the streak is immense, and the competition gets better each year.
“There’s a lot to live up to,” he said. “My mother (Brigitte Mazure) was on the team that won the third, fourth and fifth state championships, and she still talks about to this day.
“This is the big one,” Mazure added in reference to the team potentially claiming its 40th state title. “It’s immensely important to me for a lot of reasons. I’ve spent so much time with this team, and we are so close. We want to win it for each other, and the support is always amazing. Coming back (from the tournament) and seeing the community welcome us home is something special. We appreciate it so much.”
Mazure is an excellent student, and he maintains a 4.7 grade-point average. He’s also a very busy student. In addition to marching band and speech, he’s also the vice president of the Park Players Theater Club and a member of the school’s jazz ensemble, the strings orchestra, Young Patriots Chamber Choir, concert band and percussion ensemble.
Mazure likes his classes. However, he can’t name a favorite when he’s asked.
“Any music, speech or theater class,” he said.
Mazure also likes his teachers. Again, he can’t name a favorite when he’s asked.
“Any music, speech or theater teacher,” he said with a laugh. “I can’t pick just one.”
Mazure, who plays multiple instruments, is excited about the Wheeling Park High School performances in which he’ll take part during his senior year. He said he loves taking part in the fall play, the spring musical, Festival of Sound and Festival of Spring.
“They are all amazing, but Festival of Sound is really the culmination of all we do,” Mazure said. “It’s the most fun I could have because I get to play everything – guitar, singing. If there is music happening, I want to be a part of it. I don’t mind being in a supporting role, either. If I can interact, I want to be involved in.”
Mazure plans to attend college next year, and he is considering West Virginia University, Duquesne University, the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., and the Manhattan School of Music. He has not yet decided on a major. He is, however, sure that his education and career will involve music.
“I want to be a self-sufficient musician,” Mazure said. “I want to write my own music, record my own music and market my own music. I want to connect with people through music and art. I want to surround myself with good people and good players and see where it takes me.”
Mazure said Wheeling Park High School means a lot to him, and he appreciates the opportunities he’s had there. He said he is also grateful for the support he’s received from his parents, Brigitte and Mike Mazure, and his teachers and classmates.
“This school and the staff have given me the opportunity to be versatile,” Mazure said. “They let me do everything, and I’m not pigeonholed. I can be a leader in prolific groups in the school, and the teachers are OK with that. It’s amazing. They help me to do whatever I want to do, and they help me to be a strong well-rounded student.
“I thank my parents, teachers and classmates who have helped me along the way,” he added. “I’ve fed off their energy, and I’m grateful for their help. I’m prepared to face the world because of the experiences and love they’ve given me.”