Dennis Eambovornchai is making beautiful music on the golf course and on the football field.
The Hurst L.D. Bell junior is on the varsity boys golf team. He also plays mellophone/French horn in the high school band.
“I’ve been involved in music for about 11 years now. I began playing piano in kindergarten and started playing French horn in seventh grade,” Eambovornchai said. “I was first drawn to music when I had my first piano lesson. I remember learning how to read music and learning how to play the piano was really interesting to me and was enjoyable.
“Playing the piano at an early age also helped me in band because I already knew how to read music and was advanced in music theory because of the seven years of piano experience that I had at that time.”
Among the highlights of his band career are getting second place in a prestigious competition in Atlanta. He is also a regional champion.
“Although we did not get first [as a team], I was very proud to be on that field and be surrounded by my section who I’ve spent so much time rehearsing with and having section parties with,” he said.
While he hasn’t been playing golf nearly as long, five years, he has also become very good at the sport. His highlights include having won more than 20 medals playing in the North Texas PGA Junior competition.
Eambovornchai has been on the Bell varsity two seasons after transferring from Trinity. He was ineligible to play as a freshman because of University Interscholastic League transfer rules, but he has since made up for lost time.
However, Eambovornchai said his attraction to golf was more than physically playing.
“I was attracted to golf because I wanted to be involved in a sport that would challenge my mind, and there’s no better sport than golf that really enforces the mind,” he said. “Being able to stay calm and collected and not allow a bad shot to affect me, or putting on the green with people watching, really challenges my mind, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy playing this sport so much.”
Eambovornchai is also part of the International Baccalaureate program at Bell. Though only a junior, he is already taking college-level courses.
The combination of band, golf, IB, and of course classes requires a lot of balancing in his schedule, Eamborornchai said. For example, technically he cannot have golf and band on his school schedule. So even though he is on the team, he has to practice golf on his own time.
“Some days I’ll have band rehearsal at 7 a.m., go to school until 4, go to golf practice, and come home and stay up until almost midnight doing homework,” he said. “It’s a grueling schedule, but I get through it by applying what my band director says about my life, which is, ‘It’s a marathon, not a sprint.’
“I believe that you have to work hard now and manage your time so that you won’t have to be figuring out your life and trying to get it all together when I’m older.”
Eambovornchai still plays piano. He has also done very well in competition, including the annual Texas Music Teachers Association event each summer. He is also on the Bell ensemble.
“I am entering my 10th year this upcoming summer and will be receiving my 10th-year bar to go on my plaque, which I received last summer for my ninth year,” he said.
Dennis’ ability to balance multiple activities is being passed on. His younger brother Daniel, a seventh-grader at Central Junior, also plays golf as well as saxophone.
“I hope that in his ninth-grade year he will try out for the golf team as well and replace me as the top player on the team, and maybe be even better than I am once I graduate,” Dennis said.