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The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

Staff Profile

How Low Can You Go?

Poi Borchardt ‘26 on playing the tuba, marching band, and her band experience
Poi+Borchardt+26+plays+the+double+B+flat+tuba%2C+which+is+the+most+common+model+in+concert+bands
Lily Rantanen
Poi Borchardt ’26 plays the double B flat tuba, which is the most common model in concert bands

Poi Borchardt ‘26 is a fearsome force to be reckoned with when it comes to everything low brass. She’s a marching band section leader, bass trombonist, and talented tuba player.

As the Wind Ensemble tuba and low brass section leader, there’s no denying that Borchardt is doing something right. But she hasn’t always been a tubist – in fact, she’s been playing for only two years.

“I used to be a trombone player. [I] picked it out in fifth grade and stuck with it until they asked me to switch in eighth grade,” Borchardt said.

Despite the obvious differences between tuba and trombone, Borchardt says it hasn’t been too hard to adjust to the tuba.  

“It’s been really interesting so far,” Borchardt said. “It’s obviously a lot different than trombone with the valves and then [there’s] a different embouchure.”

But Borchardt has been taking it in stride.

“It’s been a lot of fun and it’s created a lot of different opportunities for me for All-State and honor bands,” said Borchardt.

For anyone who isn’t intimately familiar with band instruments, it may be difficult to distinguish between the two. The trombone uses a slide to play different notes, while the tuba has valves, or keys. 

“Tubas can have three or five valves, but the most common is four,” Borchardt explained.

Not only is Borchardt an excellent tuba player, she’s also the only sophomore in band who’s also a section leader. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s all a piece of cake for her, either.

“It’s been a lot of pressure and I do stress about it, because I’ve been learning all the basics and stuff with [the other sophomores],” Borchardt said.

Even though this is her first year as section leader and first time doing the half-time show, Borchardt has been a valuable role model to the rest of her section. She’s been putting in extra time to learn how to read drill charts, fill out dot books, and help out her fellow section members in any way she can.

“It’s been a lot of fun because all the upperclassmen have been really nice,” Borchardt said of her experience being a section leader. 

And as the cherry on the top of Poi Borchardt’s tuba sundae, this is her first year in Wind Ensemble. 

“I’m really excited. I didn’t think I’d ever have this opportunity,” Borchardt said. “If you told me when I was younger that this was where I’d be right now, I wouldn’t believe you.”

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Lily Rantanen
Lily Rantanen, Reporter
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