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Inside look into Flight

By Kelsey Schmidt
March 13, 2023

Flight is taking off, being one of McNary APT’s most successful bands. 

Flight was created by the band’s bassist, Titus Thomas, their lead guitarist Douglas Howard, and Samuel Banton, Flight's saxophone player. Flight has been a band for two years and is having to hit a roadblock with performing with a little less than half the band graduating this 2023 year.

 “I would change that half the band isn't seniors so they don't have to graduate,” Titus Thomas, a junior in flight said. Flight is a very funk,  jazz-based band with lots of upbeat and funky music. Flight comes across a lot of Bruno Mars, being known for their thrilling stage presence and the ability to involve the crowd throughout the show. 

“I think every show is getting better and better,” Thomas said. Thomas has been playing bass since the beginning of Covid. As he leads his band, he is also the president of the APT program at McNary. “I feel everyone has a deep passion for music in the program,” Thomas said. Thomas aspires to be in the music business when he is older. He finds it essential to growing and always being a better musician. 

He models his performance after a band called Lawrence. He finds inspiration from their bass player which is one of the main reasons he learned how to play bass. “Our biggest goal is to have everyone show up to whatever show we have next,” Thomas said. Thomas has taken a running with drums, playing with different bands in APT for a song or two. He is also involved in many of McNary's music programs, some including APT, Wind ensemble, percussion, and advanced jazz band. 

“Before I really knew I could sing, I would sing along with music as a kid,” Jazzmen Mendoza, a junior in Flight member said.  Mendoza has always taken pride in her voice. She is flights lead singer, as well as So2realll: a band formed by Thomas and Mendoza.  She has a goal of exploring when she graduates, she would like to travel and see different communities and continue growing her voice and her knowledge.

 “There's nothing to do but take flight. In the world all you can do is take flight,” Mendoza said. She finds it important to grow as a group. She loves the community of the people around her. She loves to be in a band and getting to enjoy a shared musical passion together. Mendoza finds that her biggest achievement is her stage presence. She takes pride in how involved she is in the audience and the APT program. “APT has a sense of being a family. We are all here to make music,” Mendoza said. She wants to continue to grow as a musician and person throughout her life. 

“I started music when I got into art. It felt so natural,” Diego Diaz a senior in flight said. Diaz is the drummer in Flight. He started this year and is learning very quickly about the structure of the band. Diaz started playing drums last year and picked up on it within months of playing. “It's sometimes hard being in Flight with only having one year of experience,” Diaz said.  He was recommended by Mr. Andy Thomas the APT teacher. He auditioned for Flight and got in. He feels like he is being humble about how well he is doing and his progress.

 Diaz found chemistry with his band and wants to evolve with them. “We have to learn to be energetic and not always serious,” Diaz said. Diaz fought his social anxiety from when he was a kid, and is very proud that he is now a performing artist. He commits a lot of his time to learn drums and practicing at home anywhere from 2 hours to all night. “My biggest goal with Flight is to be professional and have fun,” Diaz said.