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Tim Klinker, senior in mechanical engineering and automotive technology, practices his mellowphone at Carnie Smith Stadium Wednesday, Oct. 23. Klinker has been a part of the marching band for three years, but has been playing the french horn for seven years. Morgan Noe

Athlete of the week: Tim Klinker

Everyone leads different lives. Everyone has to balance college, friends, family, and extracurricular activities. Senior in mechanical engineering and automotive technology Tim Klinker manages to balance his schoolwork, marching band, and his other responsibilities.  

Klinker began playing the French horn during his freshman year of high school. He also plays a range of other instruments, including trumpet and tenor horn.   

According to Klinker, practicing music has many benefits.  

“In general, it’s a great way to activate different parts of my brain,” Klinker said. “I’m an engineering major so I spend all day doing a lot of math. So, when I’m able to go to ensemble rehearsals, it’s activating a different part of my brain and letting me cool off the straight forward logic thinking and activate other parts and work as a team, build up that team work ability, build up listening to others, all that kind of stuff.”  

Staying on top of homework and making sure to keep track of everything makes balancing everything easier.   

“So, balancing with marching band isn’t too bad,” Klinker said. “… I just know that I have to plan out to make sure and do homework either before the game or catch up Saturday night or Sunday morning. It’s really just… (staying) on top of the schedule.”  

Making sure not to get overwhelmed with school work and other activities is also an important part in maintaining balance.  

“It’s something you have to learn,” Klinker said. “Everyone has a different kind of method for school work and activities.., and time to be at home and just recuperate… I would say it’s a lot of experimentation and seeing what works and what doesn’t. My biggest recommendation for freshman specifically is to not overextend yourself. Don’t take 20 hours your freshman year, take something more like 12 or 13 and go join a club. It doesn’t have to be something super serious; it can be a club that meets once a week (or) once every other week, something like that. Just something fun that you’d be interested in to get out there and not just always be in the library doing homework.”  

Competing in a national competition has been the biggest achievement of Klinker’s musical career.  

“… Second semester of my freshman year, I was involved with a British style brass band up in Kansas City and we went to an international competition in Indiana and we were in the adult division,” Klinker said. “It was a bunch of high school and early college kids and we competed in an adult division and were a tenth point away from winning. One of the judges didn’t like us so much but the other two gave us first place. So, that (would be my) biggest accomplishment just based on the sheer amount of work that we had to put into that in order to go to that competition.”  

Klinker’s biggest supports are his family and his brothers in the men’s music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.  

“Obviously, my family is one of my biggest supporters,” Klinker said. “Since deciding that I wanted to continue with music in high school and then continue with music in college, including those competitive bands, they’ve always been very supportive. The other main group that has supported me is my fraternity brothers. Everyone in that group supports each other. We encourage each other to go practice more, to go branch out, experience different genres of music, other stuff that we might not experience and always try and build each other up because (in) music, it’s very easy to think you’re worse than you actually are. So, it’s good to a group of brothers to help build you back up.”

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