The best euphonium player in the state attends Lake Highlands High School. Junior CHRIS ATIENO was a freshman the first time he placed at the all-state band competition, finishing 10th in his instrument’s category. He decided then and there that he wanted to be No. 1 by the time he graduated from high school — he just didn’t know he would reach that goal before his senior year. When Atieno heard the good news, “I really didn’t believe it,” he says, adding that when he plays before judges, “I don’t look for an outcome. I just look to perform better than I have when I was practicing.” An honor student in the top 10 percent of his class, Atieno jokes that he finds time to practice “sometime between studying and sleep.” But according to band director Jeff Bradford, Atieno puts in countless hours, both with his longtime mentor, former band director Josh Blankenship, and on his own. That, combined with his natural talent, is why Atieno will be one of extremely few to qualify for the all-state band four years in a row. “He is probably one of the top three students I’ve ever heard,” Bradford says, “if not the best.”