DHS grad, musician plans to design games, compose soundtracks

Jonathan Dempsey

Jonathan Dempsey was allowed to showcase his many talents as a student at Destrehan High School by not only performing in the parish and district honor bands, but also excelling in computer science and math.

Dempsey played both the tuba and piano during high school, and has actually been playing the tuba since 4th grade.

“I enjoy the role it has of supporting the rest of the ensemble,” he said of the tuba. “I picked up the piano after freshman year because of its graceful sound and full musical range allowing me to play whatever part of whatever song I wish.”

He first became interested in music through his love of video games.

“I spent a lot of my youth playing video games, but what always stuck out to me was the music,” he said. “(Video games) sparked an interest in being able to perform or compose music like that.”

Other than music, Dempsey’s favorite subject is math. He said he always frames math problems like puzzles, and they usually have a path to the right answer that can be found with a little bit of digging.

At Destrehan, Dempsey was a part of both the National Honor Society and National English Honor Society. He also served in Destrehan’s Mu Alpha Theta Mathletes.

“There was also an ensemble started by some of my closest friends called the Twin Rivers Jazz Ensemble, which was student-led and performed at several school venues,” he said.

Dempsey’s favorite memory from high school was the Spring Talented Music Showcase.

“There, I performed several different songs and got to work with everybody I got to know in music,” he said. “I had a tuba duet with one of my talented music instructors, played the Hungarian dance solo accompanied by my piano teacher, performed ‘War of the Hunger Games’ with a brass ensemble organized by my other talented music instructor, and ended with a selection of pieces alongside the Twin Rivers group.

“I played possibly the best I ever have that evening, and had some of the most fun I think I could in performing.”

Dempsey was able to take on so many different aspects of high school by taking things as they come.

“Stressing over every little thing would only exhaust me, so I used free time in school to get most of my classwork done,” he said.

He plans to combine his interests as he heads to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to major in computer science and minor in music.

“I’m planning on being a game designer, as well as a soundtrack composer,” he said. “I want to make entire experiences that people enjoy, and music is an integral part of the whole process.”