Lake City High School’s Gavin Kariotis is a young man with many musical talents and a variety of interests that keep his feet both on the ground – and off.
An accomplished musician who mostly plays saxophone and cello, he also has curiosity about the different kinds of music that can be played with a variety of instruments. So, as he puts it, he also dabbles in trumpet, piano, drums, violin and guitar. He has been in solo and ensemble competitions in the region since eighth grade and continues to play in symphonic and advanced orchestra in school. He has also been in concert band, string ensemble and jazz band.
He especially likes classical music, he said, “because of how deeply complex it is mathematically, which is really interesting.”
“I am definitely interested in the musical education field of things,” he said, “and I’ll be going to the University of Idaho this fall working my way toward music performance or music education. I am interested in being able to spread the joy music gives in people’s lives.”
But there is also something about public service that is intriguing as well. This past summer he was a U.S. Senate page for Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.), who is a great-uncle. Having had conversations with the senator at family events, “I became more aware of politics, and so I took advantage of this opportunity.”
He was in Washington, D.C., last June when Senate Democrats filibustered, calling for gun control reform. The process was fascinating to watch, and Kariotis said he learned a lot from not just that event, but just by being there, in the middle of the Senate as it did its work.
“This benefited me in ways I can’t explain, and I understand how rarely it happens to be a small part of something important to our history.”
What he observed, he said, was that while politicians may be guided by their personal reasons for doing what they do, there are many good ones who push past what might be good for them politically to fight for what they believe to be good for the nation as a whole.
“Working for that public gain, that single focus on greater needs, that appeals to me,” he said. “I’m not so good as a public speaker, but I could see myself doing something behind the scenes.”
The son of Jason Kariotis, a programmer, and Bridget Kariotis, who works in human resources at a bank, he has many outlets for his energy and interests. Formerly a competitive swimmer who went on to state competition as a junior, he more recently has gotten involved in parkour, an activity sometimes described as urban running, a sport developed out of military training programs in which persons go from one location to another using the obstacles in their path in ways that increase their efficiency in running – including, when necessary, vaulting and climbing over things.
“It’s more than just physical,” he said. “It opens the possibility of approaching everyday problems with a fresh perspective.”
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