BY Molly Congdon
CLIFTON PARK — Three years ago, Aiden Gorby moved to Clifton Park from the sunny shores of San Diego. “It was a really good experience because everyone was a lot more laid-back than they are here; it’s a different mentality,” Gorby said. “It’s kind of nice to have two opposing ends of the spectrum.”
This is when he really began to immerse himself in music. “I didn’t know many people, and I was in the band program, so I always went down to the practice rooms during lunch,” Gorby said. “That really made me love it even more.”
Back in elementary school, his friends all thought it would be fun to select the saxophone as a band instrument, that way they could all play it together. At the time, Gorby was just going with the group, but while in middle school he fell in love with the smooth, creamy sound of the sax.
In December, Gorby was selected to be the first chair in the All State band — a dream that he had been working to make come true.
“That was definitely a big thing. Being chosen as the first chair was a great experience.” Gorby said. “It was a really big accomplishment; being the principal chair at All State band was something.”
Outside of regular band, he spent his high school years participating in the Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Ensemble, a small combo of five people at Skidmore College and performing at NYSMA.
On June 25, he will toss his cap into the air with his classmates at Shenendehowa’s graduation ceremony and his high school career will come to a close. “I’m excited to graduate, but at the same time I don’t really want to grow up,” Gorby said. “It’s kind of scary to go out in the world and fend for yourself, but I’m hoping that I’m ready and I am excited for it.”
In the fall, he will head to RPI to double major in biology and cognitive science with the end goal of going to medical school and entering a career in pediatrics.
“I’m excited to be involved in a whole new community and group of people because it’s a place where I will be making new friends and establishing new connections,” Gorby said. “I’m also just excited about how much I will be able to learn; it’s really exciting to specialize down and be really great at a few things. I think I’ve always been spread out and during these four years I’m going to be able to hone down on certain subjects.”
He has had a passion for medicine for as long as he can remember. “My parents are scientists. My mom [Heather] is a biologist and my dad [Yuri] is a microbiologist,” he said. “I would always go in the lab and act like I was helping them out, follow them around and it really gave me an early love for it. Some of my first books were encyclopedias.”
He also has two younger brothers, Liam, 15, and Simon, 11.
NEVER LET GO
Music will still be a huge part of his life. “Having that creative mentality that music gives you, enables you to look at problems in a different light,” Gorby said. “It’s really a very positive influence on academics and relationships with other people.”
He continued: “I’d go crazy if I couldn’t play. I’m not going to be ripping out my hair when I have a long night of studying.”
Gorby’s love of music stretches beyond that of the saxophone. “I listen to everything really, but I love jazz and classical. Duke Ellington once said that there are only two genres of music — good and bad. I tend to lean toward that philosophy.”
He will always have it as an outlet, no matter where he ends up in life. “It’s a way to express emotions that can’t be expressed in any other way. According to Gustav Mahler, ‘If a composer could say what he had to say in words, he would not bother trying to say it in music,’ ” Gorby said. “It’s a different language that is completely separate from everything else, it’s always really attracted me. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience when it is happening.”
for Aiden Gorby
Q: What was your favorite bedtime story?
A: “Goodnight Moon.” It was one of the first books my parents read to me and the first one that I learned to read — it has a special place in my heart.
Q: What is your favorite color?
Q: What is your favorite dessert?
A: That’s tough. I think brownies.
Q: Favorite cartoon character?
Q: What is your favorite band?
A: Bob Curnal’s LA Big Band
Q: What is one of your happiest memories?
A: Probably when I went to Chicago with my eighth-grade band; there was a big competition there. It was great.
Q: What is the No. 1 thing on your bucket list?
Q: What is your favorite book and why?
A: “Lightning Thief.” It has almost no literary value whatsoever, but it’s the only book I’ve ever read twice and for some reason that book was really enjoyable.