Roberson Trombonist Among Nation's Best

Roberson Trombonist Among Nation's Best
Posted on 11/26/2018
Jeffrey Whitenack is one of the most talented high school musicians in the country, according to the National Association for Music Education (NAFME). By: Benjamin Rickert, BCS Communications Dept.

Jeffrey Whitenack is one of the most talented high school musicians in the country, according to the National Association for Music Education (NAFME). Based on his ranking with the All-State Honors Band, the Roberson trombonist was eligible to audition for the prestigious All-National band, ultimately earning third chair on the honors symphony orchestra roster. In this orchestra of 122 instrumentalists, Whitenack is the only brass instrumentalist representing North Carolina, and one of only six trombonists chosen in the United States.

“Only the best of the best are accepted,” explained Roberson director of bands Mr. James Kirkpatrick. “To say I am proud of this amazing student musician is a huge understatement.”

Roberson Director of Bands, Mr. James KirkpatrickKirkpatrick describes Jeffrey as a role model for his peers, exhibiting tremendous discipline as a musician, student, and athlete.

“Jeffrey truly represents the essence of being a Renaissance man… [but] if you ever talk to Jeffrey about his achievements, you would get a very humble response,” Kirkpatrick continued.

Whitenack attended Cane Creek Middle School after moving to Western North Carolina from Idaho. Now a senior at Roberson High, he has plenty of praise for his past and present music educators.

“They’ve made me want to be better,” said Whitenack. “At Roberson, Mr. Kirkpatrick has worked with me so much to help me improve. I know the history of the T.C. Roberson High School band and all of the great musicians that have been here previously, so I’m just trying to be the best I can be for this program.”

Jeffrey recalled as a younger band student looking up to older students competing for seats in the All-State band. He was inspired to stay late after school working with his director and to find time to practice on his own. Now, his discipline is paying dividends as he prepares for the All-National experience.

Whitenack rehearses with the T.C. Roberson High School band.The elite All-National ensembles gather this November 25-28 in Orlando, Florida “to represent collaboration and creativity in its highest musical form” (NAFME Press Release). Students will work with prominent conductors to perform a challenging repertoire at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Whitenack is also currently working with the BCS Communications Dept. to create a short performance video on the stage of Roberson High.

“I don’t try to be like everyone else,” he said. “I try to be my own individual and be the best in every subject I enjoy.”

To younger aspiring musicians, Jeffrey offers this advice: “If you love music, you should work for it.”

Originally published at