By Arnetta Johnson
Performing at the Super Bowl with Beyoncé was amazing! When I got the gig I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. It was definitely a great moment to soak in. When I finally got to California I was excited to meet all of the people I would be working with. At rehearsal it was amazing to see everyone giving their all every time we did a run through. My professor/mentor Tia Fuller, who played with Beyoncé prior to Berklee, would always say give 100% all the time. After this experience I now get exactly what she meant. One thing I love is to see a group of people working hard in their craft. Currently one of my teachers from years ago, named Crystal Torres, is Beyoncé’s trumpeter. She is the one who recommended me for the gig. It is always great to have someone such as Crystal who is extremely supportive and has your best interest at heart. This is how greatness comes along.
After learning the music, choreography, and running the show we finally headed to the stadium. When we got there I was just excited see all the signs that said Super Bowl 50. There were many things to come with this event that I’ve never experienced before. It was my first in a football stadium, my first time performing in a stadium, and my first time performing in front of millions of people. People were asking how I was going to feel during the performance and I told them that I didn’t know because I don’t even know what to expect of it. Another thing that was cool was playing with the other Berklee alumni (Patty Anne Miller, Taylor Gordon, Michel’Le Baptiste, and Krystal Johnson). We were all excited. When it came time to take the field I was blown away by the huge crowd. I have never seen so many people in my life. The odd thing is that although I was at a loss for words…it felt comfortable. I knew I was in the right place.
The moment that will last with me forever is when I turned around and shook my friend Michel’Le’s hand slowly and said, “Yo, WE’RE AT THE SUPER BOWL!!!” Definitely a great moment, nothing like having a friend to share the experience with. Working with Beyoncé was amazing and surely a life-changing experience.
Arnetta Johnson is a trumpeter from Camden, New Jersey, and is in her eighth semester at Berklee. In addition to playing at this year’s Super Bowl, she has shared the stage with Janelle Monae, Tia Fuller, Christian McBride, Bootsie Barens, Esperanza Spalding, and many more.