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Way to Go! Zachary Neikens of Mastic

Zachary Neikens, a sophomore at William Floyd High

Zachary Neikens, a sophomore at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, is an accomplished trombonist. Credit: William Floyd School District

A Mastic teenager was the only high school student in the nation recognized in a prestigious competition for trombone players.

Zachary Neikens, a William Floyd High School sophomore, received an honorable mention in the International Trombone Association’s George Roberts Bass Trombone Competition, which was open to trombonists age 20 and under. Four of the five players who placed ahead of him were college students, and the fifth was a high school student from Hong Kong who attends Leman Manhattan Preparatory School.

To be considered, he submitted a recording of his rendition of Gordon Jacobs’ “Cameos.”

“I feel honored to be recognized,” said Neikens, 15. “I think music is really fun, and it allows me to express myself.”

Neikens started playing tenor trombone in second grade and switched to bass trombone two years ago. He has played in the North Shore Community Band, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York and Julliard Pre-College program, becoming the latter’s youngest-ever bass trombonist.

In addition, he has played with the New York State Band Directors Association’s All-State High School and Middle School honors bands, as well as New York’s Most Dangerous Big Band, which performs locally.

At William Floyd, he is in the Tri-M Music Honor Society and performs in jazz band, wind ensemble, orchestra, trombone quartet and brass quintet.

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