Trumpet player and Thursday enthusiast Dixon earns first chair in All West


Katie Lamm

Wearing his “It’s Thursday” shirt, Forrest Dixon (11) plays after jazz band third period. He has been in the class for two years and has just attended the 2022 All West Clinic as first chair in the Blue Band for their jazz band.

On Thursday, Feb. 10, underneath his black jazz dress shirt, Forrest Dixon (11) wore a shirt with “It’s Thursday” printed on it during the All West Clinic. He has not missed a Thursday since he started this tradition three years ago. He also has not stopped playing trumpet for five years because of his love of jazz. 

“I don’t really know [how I got into jazz],” Dixon said. “It’s kind of always been there, I guess … I try to think of like the first person I really started liking. I think it was Miles Davis and his ‘Kind of Blue’ album … I think I listened to that over and over until I finally found other jazz musicians.”

Dixon originally chose to play the saxophone in sixth grade, but there were already too many saxophonists he had to play trumpet instead. His disappointment changed when he started listening to jazz. Before his freshman year, he joined Memphis Jazz Workshop, a program to teach youth about jazz fundamentals, so he could catch up. He even auditioned for jazz band for All West his freshman year despite not playing in jazz band. 

“I did audition in ninth grade,” Dixon said. “I was gonna audition for the jazz [band] and the classical [band] I didn’t think I would get into the jazz band because I was only in ninth grade. But I forgot to audition for the classical, and I only auditioned for the jazz band, so of course I didn’t get into either. It kinda helped me learn what the process was.”

Two years later in 2022, he auditioned for jazz band for All West again, and this time, the results were much different. He earned first chair in Blue Band as a junior, which is the most advanced group in All West. His classmates and friends were happy for him but not all too surprised.  

“I was like ‘let’s go Forrest,’” Tyler Dooley (11) said. “[He’s] the best in West Tennessee … I expected him to get in first chair, though? I was like ‘that’s pretty good’… I mean, I knew he was good, but there were a lot of competitors [for the spot.]”

Beyond music, Dixon bakes and does woodwork in his spare time he has even made his own table and paddle over quarantine. He claims that he thought it was cool, so he thought he should at least try it. One of the most recognizable things that Dixon does, though, is wear a black shirt every Thursday that says: “It’s Thursday” on it. 

 “I didn’t actually create it, okay,” Dixon said. “ It all [started]  in the summer before ninth grade at this …  Episcopal camp called Mud Camp I was a counselor there. Well, it was gonna rain all week, and everyone was really bummed because it was all outdoors and all of that, and so everyone started hyping everybody up about it being Thursday …  someone brought a cake, and people wrote ‘It’s Thursday’ on their shirts and all that, and that kind of  carried on and became a thing. Then, I was like ‘what if I got a shirt with ‘It’s Thursday’ on it?’, and so I did that … and then I was like ‘I’m gonna keep wearing that every Thursday’ … I think I’m on the third Thursday shirt now… and I haven’t missed a single day since ninth grade.” 

Dixon felt that All West this year was a lot of fun despite hurting his lips from playing too much. In jazz band, he is second chair and continues to practice and solo as much as he can during class. He will audition for All West next year, and he also will continue to wear his black “It’s Thursday shirt” every Thursday like he promised himself three years ago

“Forrest is like, I almost want to say like he’s in his own category in a good way. I love Forrest. He’s really cool, and he’s really smart, but he also steps down to our immaturity, and he’s so funny. He’s a great person,” Holly Cole (10) said.