Growing up, Jimmy MacNamara enjoyed playing with toy trains and building LEGOS in his grandmother’s basement.
In fifth grade, MacNamara, for the first time, picked up an instrument. It was the bassoon.
Now seven years later, MacNamara will be double-majoring in musical performance and civil engineering at Western Michigan University.
Before his senior year, MacNamara didn’t have a particular career choice to pursue in college. McNamara decided to take the intro to engineering course. Throughout the course of this school year, engineering, surprisingly, has turned into his passion.
“I find building things and figuring out problems and solving them is fun,” MacNamara said. “And it is rather interesting.”
MacNamara describes civil engineering as building basic infrastructure like buildings and roads.
When completing his mini-golf project this past year, a project that took two months to complete, MacNamara describes that moment as a turning point to wanting to pursue a career in engineering.
MacNamara said he believes he really is living out his childhood dream while studying engineering in both high school and soon to be college.
As for the musical side of things, MacNamara has been extremely involved with the EGHS Fine Arts Department, mainly in the band and orchestra programs. Throughout his high school journey, MacNamara has been a part of 11 different groups consisting of both band and orchestra. In those groups, MacNamara has taken on the task of playing five different instruments which are the bassoon, the alto saxophone, the soprano saxophone, the clarinet and the flute.
“So, I’m interested in bassoon, I’d like to continue playing that, and I’d like to continue to get better at it,” MacNamara said. “And, it would be really cool if sometime in the future I could play as a professional.”
MacNamara’s passion and development in the area of music has also allowed him to receive accolades for his performances in a variety of areas, including outstanding symphony orchestra member.
Maura Brown, EGHS’s Orchestra Director, says she’s enjoyed seeing MacNamara’s development, especially on the bassoon on these past four years.
“Honestly, the biggest thing that has stuck out to me from Jimmy is his progression as a bassoon player has been so enormous,” Brown said. “I mean he was a solid player when he came in, and you could put just anything in front of him these days and he’ll try to work on it and get it down, and had a lot of success with it, too.”
Brown also described the unique talents and traits MacNamara has as a person and as a musician.
“I would say Jimmy has a real musical curiosity,” Brown said. “He likes to take on challenges and just work at ‘em and get ‘em right.”