AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Music can be a tremendous outlet for high school students.

Our Extraordinary Talent of the week says being a musician has helped him get through some very difficult times. Carrie Lazarus takes us to Auburn high school.

“I’ve always been around music for my entire life because my Dad played guitar and he sang,” said the extraordinary talent of the week, Ryan Packard.

Ryan Packard has come a long way with his music. He plays with Symphoria’s young artist’s orchestra.

He also plays mellophone in the Auburn marching band and this year he’s the drum major.

“I feel a lot of positive energy coming from music education here at Auburn,” said Packard. “No matter what you’re planning or what you’re struggling with it doesn’t have to be music related they’re always there for you.”

Ryan would like to be there for his students someday. He’s planning to study music education in college. 

And when he heads off this fall, he’ll be taking this viola, which he has been renting before the Extraordinary talent fund helped him buy the viola.

Ryan is grateful for the community’s support at a very difficult time. He lost his Dad last year. 

“He was very proud of me and my sister for getting where we are. I always feel like he’s there with me whenever I’m performing,” said Packard.

If you’d like to help musicians like Ryan you can give to the Extraordinary Talent Fund Carrie Lazarus established to help young musicians afford lessons and instruments. You can donate here.