Amy Assembles Industry Baby


By Althea Cunningham

Senior Amy Ruan focused on powerful brass just like it’s heard in the actual song by Lil Nas X, but she also worked with section leaders to properly include their instruments into her arrangement.

Althea Cunningham, reporter

To give McKinley’s Band a more inclusive and modern song in their collection, senior Amy Ruan remastered a song from the ’90s in the second quarter of the 2021-2022 school year.

“Industry Baby” is a band song that Ruan arranged herself within the span of two days. Beforehand, Ruan was just transcribing, or reformatting, previously written songs through software called MuseScore. She had to touch up songs like “Rocky” because of errors noticeable by players when they performed.

“It usually just ends up with people saying, ‘oh, no, this part is wrong’ and then forgetting about it because they need to work on other music, and the piece has already been written,” Ruan said.

Joseph Nakamoto, the band instructor, usually asks Ruan to transcribe songs due to her proficiency with the software. Nakamoto said that gets the work done right away.

“For her to have that interest and for her to have that spark into wanting to do stuff like that, it makes me appreciate how I could ask her for help,” Nakamoto said.

For “Industry Baby,” in particular, it was Ruan’s first song to be completely arranged with her own ideas instead of just reformatting it. She took inspiration from other arrangements and researched rhythms to compose ‘Industry Baby.’ Ruan said that she tried to include every section of the band for a more challenging and engaging song for everyone to be proud of.

“This is just a fun piece for school, for everyone, and I originally thought it could be like a special song to play for the future,” Ruan said.

Ruan got the chance to hear her song be played at the first football game of the year. The Band wasn’t expecting a game because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ruan said she was surprised when her composition was thrown into the song list.

“It’s still kind of chilling for me to hear what I just made being played,” Ruan said.