Lucy Wotell
Lucy Wotell

Lucy Wotell has been a Marketing Coordinator and media contact for Music for All, since August 2016. She focuses on social media, media relations, and web content management. She is a graduate of the University of North Florida, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

From Music to Political Leadership

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We know that students who participate in Music for All programming have positively life-changing experiences. Many of these students will eventually graduate high school and go on to fulfill life in variety of ways. Some will become engineers, teachers, medical professionals, artists, managers, and influential leaders in a wide range of fields. One former student has done just that, becoming the mayor of Sonoma, California. Native of Charleston, South Carolina, Rachel Hundley began her musical journey at six years old playing the piano. She went on to play the clarinet from middle school through her freshman year of college. Rachel participated in the Music for All National Festival with the Wando H.S. Symphonic Band in 1998.

Ms. Hundley went on to receive her undergraduate degree in political science, and speech and communications, at the University of Georgia, graduating summa cum laude. She eventually received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, summa cum laude. After her time as an associate at the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP in New York, she relocated to Northern California and pursued her passions of food and small businesses, and opened up a southern cuisine food truck and catering business with her business partner Arthur Chang. About a year later, wanting to immerse herself into the Sonoma community, Rachel Googled “how to run a campaign” and went on to win a seat on Sonoma’s city council. During that time, Hundley was able to invoke a program that provided “safe parking” for homeless people who lived in their cars. In 2016, when the time came to elect a new mayor, Hundley was chosen. Since being elected in office, Mayor Hundley participated in the Women’s March in Sonoma, and she hopes to inspire younger people to be involved in their communities. She was recently featured on Fortune.com and the Washington Post as a leader on the current political landscape.

Today, Mayor Hundley talks to us about the key role music has played in her life and how she developed into the political activist and leader she is today.

How did your participation in school music impact and shape the person you are today and what lessons did you learn from being in band?
As an adult, my two biggest strengths are critical thinking and creativity. Learning and playing music helps the brain develop reasoning skills, pattern recognition, intellectual curiosity, and creative thinking. By the time I started law school after college, my brain had almost two decades of preparation for a career based in logic and problem-solving.
Participating in school music programs also helped develop self-discipline. Being accountable to a group is a great motivator to practice at home. Whether it is working at home to prepare for a trial, building my business, or keeping myself informed about everything happening in my city, it takes a lot of self-motivation to stay on top of all of the responsibilities I have today. I learned a long time ago the importance of putting in the time and effort no one sees, so that I'm ready when it is time to shine.
Being in band for 13 years also helped develop my social and leadership skills. First I was a section leader. Then I was on the band leadership council. In college, I was president of my chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, a professional music fraternity for women. Today I'm the mayor of my city. Learning how to lead and inspire takes practice, and developing those skills within the microcosm of my band program gave me a strong foundation for the leadership positions I've had later in life.
Also, music is fun! My most cherished memories and my closest friends all came out of school music programs in middle school and high school. Even though we are scattered across the country, I still keep in touch with many of my friends from band, who are all living extraordinary lives.

What are your enduring memories you have of being in your high school and middle school band?
My clarinet section was the center of my high school universe. When I was a freshman, I thought the seniors were awe-inspiring. So grown up and smart, and so talented! When my time came to lead the section, I thought it would be fun to give everyone a different tree name. Yes, trees. Willow. Pine. Magnolia, etc. I have no idea why I went with trees. The names stuck for the entire year. My best friends came out of that clarinet section, and we spent countless hours together sweating at band camp, nervously waiting to march out on the field during a competition, riding the bus to away games, even eating lunch together in the band room during the school day. I'm thankful band and my clarinet section was my anchor throughout middle and high school.

What instrument did you play in school, when did you start playing? Do you still make music?
I started playing piano when I was six years old. In 5th grade, I joined the orchestra and played violin. In 6th grade I switched to cello, while also joining band as a clarinetist at Laing Middle School, led by Miller Asbill. After a semester of trying to do both music programs, I decided to focus on band. My high school band at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina was led first by Miller Asbill and later Scott Rush. I played the clarinet for 13 years, including one year with the University of Georgia concert and marching bands. Eventually I had to give up band as an extracurricular because I had three majors (political science, journalism, and speech and communications), but I stayed involved in music through Sigma Alpha Iota and two chorus classes. In law school, three female classmates and I put together a rock cover band called "Attractive Nuisance." Today, my schedule is too full for an organized group, but I do putter around on the piano and acoustic guitar every now and then.

What book did you most recently enjoy reading? What music are you listening to these days?
My brother, who played trombone in band, recently sent me a fascinating non-fiction book entitled, "If Mayors Ruled the World" by Benjamin R. Barber. Its premise is that local government is the most successful level of government because local leaders tend to focus on finding pragmatic solutions to the problems and issues at hand, rather than getting bogged down with partisan division. If the sewer needs to be fixed, then we better fix it.
Right now, my preferred genres of music are electronic (house) and hip hop (west coast).

What's an interesting fact about you not many people know?
I have terrible stage fright. Recitals, auditions and solos always terrified me when I was a student, but I did them anyway. Running for office was a hilariously terrifying experience. Sometimes when I'd walk up to the podium to speak to a large group of people my knees would be shaking, and I'd silently curse myself for getting myself into the situation. After two years of sitting in front of large groups during televised city council meetings and now running those meetings, the nervousness has faded. I'm an introvert, and extemporaneous speaking is not my strong suit, but I've been forcing myself to perform and speak in front of audiences long enough to know that I'll probably survive and the next time will probably be a little easier.

Anything else we should know or that you'd like to tell our school music student, teacher, and parent readers?
Thank you to all of the music teachers and supportive parents out there! Looking back, I can't believe all of the time and energy all of the "grown-ups" put into supporting our various programs. I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for the music programs I had when I was in school. I'd also like to thank my two biggest fans who shuttled me back and forth to practice, and dutifully attended almost every concert I had: my parents.

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Maddie F Joins MFA Header 1

Congratulations to Maddie Fitzgerald on joining Music for All as a Participant Relations Coordinator! Maddie joins Music for All full-time having served previously as a Participant Relations intern.

As Participant Relations Coordinator, Maddie will provide support to Music for All’s participant relations team. The Participant Relations team serves as a first point-of-contact for directors and students involved in Music for All’s programs, attends local and national conventions on behalf of the organization, and maintains participant and event data.

"We're excited to add Maddie to our team because she brings a positive energy and commitment to building relationships," said Camilla M. Stasa, Director of Participant Relations and Special Projects. "Her internship at Music for All has certainly paved the way to make this hire a successful one for our department.”

Maddie has a strong music background, participating in various ensembles from fifth through twelfth grade. At Olathe Northwest High School, she was in the marching band, pep band, wind ensemble, full orchestra, pit orchestra, and she was involved in the Youth Symphony of Kansas City. Maddie received her bachelor's degree in Arts Administration with a concentration in music from Butler University. While at Butler, she was involved with the athletic band program, the wind ensemble, and Kappa Kappa Psi. She previously completed internships at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and Music for All.

Join us in congratulating Maddie on joining the Music for All Team! We look forward to seeing her strong work ethic and passion in action as she supports our mission to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences!

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It’s March 8, 2017 at Broad Ripple Magnet High School. A spirited energy fills the air as 21 instrumental and choral ensembles line into the school, ready to perform at the Indianapolis School Music Festival. These ensembles from the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), six middle schools and five high schools, performed for evaluators and participated in clinics. This is the 2nd annual Indianapolis School Music Festival, which commences the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, and gives instrumental and choral ensembles from IPS the opportunity to perform for and learn from notable evaluators and clinicians.

Hosted by the Broad Ripple Magnet High School, principal W. Briant Williams expressed the importance of the relationship between IPS and Music for All, and how Broad Ripple Magnet High School can be the epicenter of these arts opportunities for these students. The participating ensembles have learned valuable lessons that not only improve the group as a whole, but the individual musicians and their directors as well.

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“One of the great things about the Indianapolis School Music Festival is that it gives the students who are in their formative years in their musical journey a chance to become part of a very important process, and be recognized and validated for the hard-work they do in the classroom,” states John Phillips clinician and evaluator.

Furthermore, for these ensembles that come from the inner-city areas of Indianapolis, this festival is the highlight of their year, with some of the ensemble directors expressing the importance of exposing their students to these types of festivals. These students are eager to learn so much from renowned clinicians who have traveled from all over to aide these students in their musical journeys. This is Northwest Community High School band director Christopher Abbey’s 15th year as an IPS band director, and the one thing that keeps bringing him and his ensemble back to the Indianapolis School Music Festival are the kids. “A lot of good kids at IPS get underserved and this is a good place to bring them,” said Abbey.

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With the success of last year’s festival, choral ensembles were introduced to participate this year. Six choral ensembles performed in front of evaluators and received a clinic immediately after. Clinics are a time when a clinician, the ensemble, and director can work together one-on-one, in order for the ensemble and director to better improve their skill-sets. Music for All Choir Coordinator and choral clinician Kim Mann was delighted to share her joy of choral singing with the young musicians and instructors. “The inclusion of choir in this year’s festival broadens the continued advocacy for music education supported by IPS, Music for All, and the Indiana Music Education Association,” said Mann.

The attitude of learning and working hard was ubiquitous. While working with Edison Middle School of the Arts Middle School Choir, clinician Jeff Vallier explained to them that taking their work to the next level was going to come with making mistakes. Aside from the hard work, the students, also had an enjoyable experience. Before each performance, and even during their clinics, there was nothing but enthusiastic attitudes. “We practice hard with our music and we just came here to have fun,” says Northwest Community High School Advanced Band senior saxophone player Jesus Franco. “We hope it goes well, but the most important thing is to have fun.”

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This is the forty-eighth installment of a new chapter in our Student Features series on the blog that we will be posting leading up to the 2017 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. Music for All will be featuring three honor ensembles (Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and the Jazz Band of America) at the Music for All National Festival, March 9th through March 11th. We look forward to getting to know all of these wonderful students who have been accepted into these prestigious ensembles!

SophiaM

Name: Sophia Motai

Hometown: Alpine, NJ

School Name: Tenafly High School

Instrument: Violin

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I applied for this wonderful opportunity to achieve two goals. One is that I would like to challenge my potential as a fine violinist by playing with other good musicians from all over the country. The other is that I would like to become an independent and responsible young adult. This is a perfect opportunity for me to open myself up to a new environment and people. I believe it will be a precious experience for me to create and share music together in the ensemble.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. I’ve learned that you play best when you focus and get into the music.
2. I’ve also learned that the conductor is your friend, and that they will help cue you in so watch carefully.
3. Finally, I learned that orchestra is not about you; it’s about everyone as a whole performing as one.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
When Larry talked about his experience with music and life at the reception after the final concert, I was inspired and appreciated the whole experience at this national music festival.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am involved in the chamber group and occasionally perform for elderly people at nursing homes and senior centers. I also belong to the acapella club and sing in concerts at school and outside of school. In the spring, I play softball.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
I highly recommend “1984” by George Orwell, which gave me deep insight into human beings and society.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Antonin Dvorak Symphony No 8. in G Major

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Green Tea

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I enjoy reading and watching “TED Talks”. I also like to play pool and ping-pong with my family and friends.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Just keep trying and looking forward.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I would like to study psychology at college and also study abroad to widen my views.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
No

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have been struggling with myself internally and find it difficult to build a good relationship with others, but this experience made me realize that I don’t have to fear starting new relationships and I can live my life with the purpose of finding true happiness.

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This is the forty-seventh installment of a new chapter in our Student Features series on the blog that we will be posting leading up to the 2017 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. Music for All will be featuring three honor ensembles (Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and the Jazz Band of America) at the Music for All National Festival, March 9th through March 11th. We look forward to getting to know all of these wonderful students who have been accepted into these prestigious ensembles!

MaddieH

Name: Madison Hansen

Hometown: Biloxi, MS

School Name: Biloxi High School

Instrument: Clarinet

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I heard about the Honor Band of America a few years ago while browsing the web, but never imagined I could ever be accepted into the group. It wasn't until I was selected to perform with the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band that I believed the goal was at all obtainable. I am very honored to be accepted into this prestigious ensemble and am looking forward to the experience.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Band has definitely taught me a lot about working with others for a common goal, time management, and how to set short-and long-term goals for myself.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
About a year ago I had the privilege to play under the baton of Frank Ticheli at a local honor band. At our first rehearsal, we read through his piece "Rest." It was truly amazing to see how passionate he was about his music and to see the emotion he put into his conducting. It was definitely one of the most memorable moments I've had in my music career.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
At school I am a very active member of the Key Club where I serve as club president. I also serve as the lieutenant governor of my division for Key Club. I am always busy with a service project, and I love doing things for my school and community.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
I am a very big fan of the Harry Potter series and I highly recommend it to anyone.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
As a musician this is a tough question! Some of my favorite pieces include Elgar's Cello Concerto and Dvorak's Ninth Symphony.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
When I'm not rehearsing or performing, I love to spend time with my friends and family.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
I would advise a friend who needs inspiration or motivation to change their perspective on life and look for the good things that have brought them to this point in their life and to be thankful.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After graduating high school I will attend the University of Southern Mississippi to major in music performance with pre-medical requirements. I one day hope to be an OBGYN and play actively in many local ensembles.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
No.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am the first person ever from my school to attend the Honor Band of America.

This is the forty-sixth installment of a new chapter in our Student Features series on the blog that we will be posting leading up to the 2017 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. Music for All will be featuring three honor ensembles (Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and the Jazz Band of America) at the Music for All National Festival, March 9th through March 11th. We look forward to getting to know all of these wonderful students who have been accepted into these prestigious ensembles!

AnnaD

Name: Anna Dorey

Hometown: New Port Richey, FL

School Name: J.W. Mitchell H.S.

Instrument: French Horn

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I heard about it from my friend who did the Jazz Band of America and I thought it would be really fun to try.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Always be at least 20 minutes early to a rehearsal, class, or literally anything.
2. Music can inspire anyone, even those who don't normally listen to it.
3. If you love music, keep it in your life.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in band was when my band went to a competition in Atlanta. We didn't really know what to expect and we just put a giant concert band together, but when we played the cut off of our march it echoed in the hall for a really long time and everyone just stopped to listen.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I'm in National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Social Studies Honor Society, and Varsity Tennis Team.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
I would highly recommend The Art of Possibility by Ben Zander. Our clinician for this event, Jeffery Grogan, suggested it when he conducted our All-State Orchestra and I loved it.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece hands down is the Finale to Mahler 1

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Moon Mist

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I love going to see musicals with my younger sister.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Even at your worst moments you can find a light at the end of the tunnel, like I found with French Horn, while trying to get away from bullies.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on majoring in Music Performance and Biology because I'm either going to be a doctor or play in a major symphony.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
No, but I'm really excited to!

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
My entire family is from Canada, so I'm the first American in my entire family.

This is the forty-fifth installment of a new chapter in our Student Features series on the blog that we will be posting leading up to the 2017 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. Music for All will be featuring three honor ensembles (Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and the Jazz Band of America) at the Music for All National Festival, March 9th through March 11th. We look forward to getting to know all of these wonderful students who have been accepted into these prestigious ensembles!

TylerD

Name: Tyler Demsheck

Hometown: Mount Pleasant, SC

School Name: Wando High School

Instrument: Euphonium

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I wanted to be musically challenged and have the opportunity to perform with some of the best musicians in the country.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Importance of practicing and repetition.
2. Putting in time reaps rewards.
3. The significance of working hard with others who share the same goal.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
10th grade All-State experience

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Station Eleven

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Benediction

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Video Games

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
If you do everything in your power to get the outcome that you want, then you can be a peace knowing that you tried your best. The rest is outside of your control.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Something in the medical field

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Grand Nationals and Super Regionals with Wando Marching Band.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I can solve a Rubik's cube in 35 seconds.

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This is the forty-fourth installment of a new chapter in our Student Features series on the blog that we will be posting leading up to the 2017 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. Music for All will be featuring three honor ensembles (Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and the Jazz Band of America) at the Music for All National Festival, March 9th through March 11th. We look forward to getting to know all of these wonderful students who have been accepted into these prestigious ensembles!

JulianS

Name: Julian Stiles

Hometown: Hillsdale, NJ

School Name: Pascack Valley High School

Instrument: Horn

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
The conductor of Honor Orchestra of America also conducts another orchestra I'm in, New Jersey Youth Symphony. I thought it sounded like a fun program and auditioned. Our conductor also told me that we would play Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, which is a piece I've wanted to play very badly. I also really enjoy experiences in honors ensembles. As much as I enjoy my school band, playing in groups like this is always a great way to learn and a great way to have a lot of fun.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. There's no such thing as a "perfect musician".
2. Musicians can learn from all auditions and performances, whether they're good or bad.
3. Don't leave your mouthpiece at home on the day of a concert. And don't learn the hard way like I did.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Singing "Hey Baby" to my band director at every football game.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I sing with the school's Chamber Choir and the all-male acapella group The Bro-Squad. I play in the Pit Band for the Spring Musical each year. Also, I am the Event Manager for my school's Tri-M Music Honor Society.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Currently Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks by Richard Strauss.

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I love skiing with my family and friends.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on going to college and majoring in music.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
No.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I also play piano and will be competing for the first time this spring.

JulianS2

This is the forty-third installment of a new chapter in our Student Features series on the blog that we will be posting leading up to the 2017 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. Music for All will be featuring three honor ensembles (Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and the Jazz Band of America) at the Music for All National Festival, March 9th through March 11th. We look forward to getting to know all of these wonderful students who have been accepted into these prestigious ensembles!

SophieA

Name: Sophie Andrews

Hometown: Chatham, NJ

School Name: Chatham High School

Instrument: Violin

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
It would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to play in a national youth orchestra with musicians from all over the country.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. rhythm
2. Rhythm
3. RHYTHM

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Playing Shostakovich 5 at the Kennedy Center

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Tennis team and Academic team

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Mendelssohn’s violin concerto in E minor

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate!!

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I enjoy traveling and visiting new places.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
“Never, never, never give up.” -Winston Churchill

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Major in computer science

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
No, I have not.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
Proud owner of Sophie's Math Corner (sophiescorner.jerseystem.net)

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This is the forty-second installment of a new chapter in our Student Features series on the blog that we will be posting leading up to the 2017 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. Music for All will be featuring three honor ensembles (Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and the Jazz Band of America) at the Music for All National Festival, March 9th through March 11th. We look forward to getting to know all of these wonderful students who have been accepted into these prestigious ensembles!

KassiH

Name: Kassi Hatakenaka

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

School Name: Kalani High School

Instrument: Clarinet

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
Since our school band will be participating in the festival, our band director mentioned that we could audition for this prestigious ensemble. The Honor Band of America would give me an opportunity to play with other skilled musicians from around the country.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1) If you're willing to put in the effort, the results you get will be incredible.
2) Do not rely on others to always be there to play a difficult section of music. Always practice everything, so if something happens you'll be good to go.
3) Respect the people who helped you on your musical journey. In some way or another they helped to get you are where you are today.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment was being in the Oahu Band Directors Association Middle School Select Band for the first time in 7th grade. Even though it was a long time ago, I still remember what an eye-opening experience it was to hear others from different schools.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I did Judo last year, but learned that I should stick to music.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Aldridge Grainger.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
There may be something that's difficult for you to do, but if you're passionate about it and work hard, you can improve so much. When other people see that you care, you'll motivate them to do their best.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan to attend college and major in music education.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
My wrists are double jointed.

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