2022 Students of Distinction
Jackson Floyd lives and breathes music and theater
Gig Harbor Now is posting profiles of each of the 25 Students of Distinction being honored by the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. The students will be honored during a banquet from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Ocean5, 5268 Point Fosdick Dr.
Student: Jackson Floyd
School: Gig Harbor High School
Category: Music, Art & Drama Achievement
Jackson Floyd has been performing on stage since the second grade and has been cast in 13 shows since third grade — more musicals and plays at GHHS than any of his peers.
He has appeared in “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Addams Family,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” “12 Angry Men,” “The Wedding Singer” and numerous one-act plays. His final high school role was Mr. Darcy in last year’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
A musical family
He is also a talented musician. He comes by his musical ability naturally: his parents are musicians, as is his older sister. Jackson started playing trumpet in the sixth grade and taught himself piano, guitar and drums.
He has a special fondness of jazz and has played in the GHHS jazz band and in the school’s wind symphony all four years. He also sings in the school choir.
“Music has been my passion and an integral part of my life ever since I was a toddler. I was tapping out rhythms my car seat,” he said with a smile. “I’m really lucky because I can pick up and learn just about any instrument. I’m always searching for new avenues of learning, especially in music theory and I try to use music to gain more perception and analysis in scholastic areas.”
It’s no surprise that playing in the band has been his favorite thing in high school, even thru COVID.
“That was rough because we couldn’t play together in person,” he said. He and some friends found ways to play together outdoors as a jazz quartet but it didn’t have the same “passion” as playing in person as a band. Still, it was better than nothing.
Jackson is especially proud of the fact that he has been able to be a mentor and an example for younger musicians.
“I always had people to look up to, since my sister and parents are all musicians. But it was kind of strange and kind of hard to have people look up to me,” he said. “I’ve sort of struggled with that. It’s humbling, but I’m proud that I can do it.”
Composing a future
This fall, Jackson plans to attend Belmont University in Nashville to study music — especially jazz — with an emphasis on composition. He wants to be a professional musician and write and edit or perform music. And maybe he’ll also teach music.
John Hellwich, PSD Assistant Superintendent and a “band dad,” calls Jackson “an exemplary student-musician since his sixth-grade year at Goodman. His passion for music is unmatched, his practice habits are tireless and he has always strived to push himself and improve to be the best high school trumpeter anywhere. He makes it a point to be a role model for other musicians and sets the bar that others strive for. He is just a great young man who treats people with respect and kindness.”
Chance Busey, GHHS assistant director of bands, has worked with Jason since 2018.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is ‘encourageable,’” Busey said. “He has shown tremendous potential throughout his time at Gig Harbor High School. Whether it be performing at a high level, welcoming new students or sharing his love for music, Jackson is up to any challenge that comes his way.”
Jackson’s advice to younger kids is to look at the big picture. Try to remove yourself from the situation and take time to balance things. “You want to give your all to everything, but try to see what really matters most – general stuff like family. Life revolves around our relationships and we need to keep nurturing them.”
School: Gig Harbor High School
Category: Music, Art & Drama
Parents: Neil and Greta Floyd
Accomplishments: acted in 13 plays, grades 3-11; Best Actor — One Act Play Festival, grade 9; Most outstanding musician – wind symphony, most inspirational musician, grade 10; Jazz 1; Outstanding soloist at Viking Jazz Fest; Rising Star Award, choir grade 11; lettered in band grades 9, 10, 11, 12.
Favorite teacher: Kevin Eager, AP Psychology. “He makes me ENJOY learning and I don’t typically do that when it’s unrelated to music. He’s engaging and knows HOW people learn. He is just a good teacher.”
Best thing about GHHS: Our band program has impeccable leadership. It has given me something to love — a reason to get up in the morning – literally.