Samuel Reynolds Sr. and Samuel Reynolds Jr. stand in the Westland High School music room. They made school history when both, father and son, won the Louis Armstrong award.
Westland High School graduate Samuel Reynolds Jr. shares a love for the trumpet with a long line of family members.
His passion earned him the Louis Armstrong award at Westlands annual award ceremony on May 24.
His father, Samuel Reynolds Sr., won the award in 1984. This is the first time in the schools history more than one family member received the award.
“It is a big accomplishment for me because ever since I was a little kid Ive been seeing (the award) every day, Reynolds Jr. said.
The Louis Armstrong award was introduced nationally in 1974, with the consent of Armstrongs widow after his death in 1971. The award honors an outstanding jazz musician at participating high schools, according to Instrumental Magazine.
Reynolds Jr. started playing the trumpet when he was 4 years old. He listened to and mimicked jazz artist Maynard Ferguson and started reading music at age 7.
“We have a family full of trumpet players and musicians, Reynolds Jr. said.Basically my dad had me play something that he would play. The first song that I learned was ‘Jesus Loves Me.
Reynolds Jr. said he expressed concern to friends and family about not winning.
“My dad said, ‘I am proud of you no matter what, Reynolds Jr. said.I won it and about started crying. It was a good feeling. Indescribable.
Reynolds Sr. said his son worked hard for the award all through high school, even while involved with other activities like wrestling, cross country and baseball.
“It was the one thing that always pushed him to do better, Reynolds Sr. said.
Reynolds Jr. will attend Columbus State Community College this fall and plans to transfer to The Ohio State University to study music. He will also continue his studies with the trumpet to possibly join the OSU Marching Band.
For Reynolds Sr., music has been a hobby since he graduated from high school. He enjoys participating in the music program at Potters House Church of God.
“We are a big part of the music at Potters, Reynolds Sr. said.I mostly play at church. It was mostly for the love of music that I played.
Reynolds Sr. was surprised when he won the Louis Armstrong award in 1984.
“There were so many good musicians back in school. I knew any of us could get it, he said.