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.

This is the twenty-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!

EvanC 

Name: Evan Curatolo

Hometown: Frankfort, IL

School Name: Lincoln-Way East High School

Instrument: Flute

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I've always strived to be the best musician I could be, and high school band is very limiting in the sense that not everyone is at the same talent level. In the honor ensembles, everybody performs at an extremely high level and that is why I chose to apply for these ensembles.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Three things I've learned is that there are always people who are going to be more talented than you, so you just have to embrace that fact and try to be the best you can be. Another is that music is all about collaboration with other musicians. Being a part of a bigger unit helps you to become a more humble musician. Something else I've learned is that there is always more to learn, and that you will always have something to improve upon.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in band was when I walked onto the Lucas Oil Stadium field with my home marching band in the Bands of America Grand National Championships.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am not involved in any other activities in school besides music department activities.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
While I don't particularly read all the time, I would recommend any book about music, because music is something that anyone can relate to, whether you love to play or just listen to it.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece of music is Beethoven's 6th Symphony because it was used in my sophomore year marching band show and it is very special to me.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Birthday Cake

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Music has always been my favorite hobby/past time, so I don't necessarily have any others.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
There are always going to be hard obstacles and you will definitely not win everything you try, but if you give up, there is no chance of you ever getting better. Keep on trying, because all anyone ever asks of you is for you to try your best.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I would like to major in Flute Performance at a music conservatory and either perform in a symphony orchestra or become a solo flute performer.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I have participated in the Honor Band of America 2016, and I have also participated in Bands of America Super Regionals and Grand National Championships 2016.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have only been playing flute for three and a half years. I did not begin playing on an actual flute. Instead, I started on a PVC pipe with holes cut in it to simulate a flute. Soon after, I started playing on a real flute and I fell in love with playing instantly.

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This is the twenty-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!

JasonF

Name: Jason Frazier

Hometown: Fairview, TN

School Name: Franklin High School

Instrument: Alto Saxophone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I had multiple upperclassmen that attended Honor Band of America my freshman year, and the way they described this experience made me want to have it as well. Also, I watched a lot of videos of Honor Band of America and it was such an amazing ensemble, that I decided I couldn't not be in it at least once.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Everyone matters. Every single player in an ensemble is responsible for that group's performance.
2. Hard work pays off. I worked incredibly hard for this audition and it most definitely payed off.
3. It's okay and important to feel emotions. These are emotions that you can pour into a performance and make it that much more enjoyable.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Too many to count, but my top two are performing Give Us This Day by David Maslanka at the Tennessee Governor's School For The Arts and walking off of the field in Lucas Oil after Grand National Semifinals my freshman year. Those are my two favorite performances that I've ever given.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Playing saxophone and flute consume a large portion of my time, but other than that I'm in the IB program at my school, which consumes even more of my time. It's fine.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
All of the Harry Potter series. Also East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
This one's tough, but at the moment it's a multi-way tie between Shostakovich 5, Tchaikovsky 6, Shostakovich 10, Prélude Cadence et Finale by Alfred Desenclos, Medea's Dance of Vengeance, and Give Us This Day.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Ben and Jerry's Phish Food. Absolutely mouthwatering.

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Mostly memes.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on attending undergrad at either IU or MTSU for Music Education, then I'll get my master's at either IU or UMich for Music Performance. After that I'll either go into teaching/performing/conducting or get my DMA.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
2014: BOA Louisville, BOA Indy Super Regional, Grand Nationals
2015: BOA Clarksville, BOA Indy Super Regional, Grand Nationals
2015: BOA Clarksville, BOA Atlanta Super Regional, Grand Nationals

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have perfect pitch.

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This is the twenty-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!

JennaM 

Name: Jenna Montes

Hometown: Mason, OH

School Name: William Mason High School

Instrument: French Horn

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I attended the National Festival with my high school band in 2014 and I loved the atmosphere of the event. Last year, I decided to go back and experience that firsthand by participating in Honor Band of America. Since participating last year, I've developed great friendships with some of the musicians and I may even be attending college with some of them. The Honor Band of America made me into a better player and person, and there's nothing like being at a Music For All event.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Band has taught me that if you don't believe in your own talent and ability, you will never be able to achieve your goals. It has also taught me that music is one of the most powerful gifts to receive and to give. Orchestra has made me appreciate the beauty that comes from the unity of many different people seeking the same goal: excellence and growth.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
The most memorable moment of my musical career so far was in July 2016. I traveled to Sydney, Australia with the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble for the International Music Festival and performed at the Sydney Opera House. I will never forget what it felt like to stand on stage after the concert, accepting the applause and reveling in how far I had come as a musician.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am involved in marching band, Student Government, and Spanish National Honor Society.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
"A Visit From the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Hammersmith by Gustav Holst

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Black Raspberry Chip

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I am a staff member for the iBelieve Foundation, which is a leadership program for high school students in West Virginia and Ohio.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
There's always someone that is willing to get you out of a rough place; you're never alone. Just because today was a bad day, doesn't mean all days are bad.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I am planning on attending a university somewhere in the Midwest/Eastern region for French Horn Performance.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
National Festival 2014 and 2016, BOA Grand Nationals 2013-2016, ATL Super Regional 2014, and Ohio Regional BOA Competitions 2013-2016

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
When I was in Australia, I got to feed kangaroos!

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 This is the twenty-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!

 MikaylaS

Name: Mikayla Sweet

Hometown: Edmond, OK

School Name: Deer Creek High School

Instrument: Trumpet

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
A few of my friends had mentioned it in passing, so I decided to check out the website to see what all the fuss was about. It mentioned that everyone who auditioned would receive comments from the judges. I sent in recordings of my first round all-state etudes, hoping I would receive critiques before my audition. I never expected that I would make the band!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I have learned that the best things come from hard work, patience is key, and teamwork leads to succeed.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
The first time I ever took an improv solo, my freshman year in jazz band, was probably the scariest and most memorable moment in band. I didn't really have a good idea of what I was going to play, but as soon as it was my turn and I started, the notes just came out and fit the chords. It was the coolest feeling ever and the first time that I was able to successfully play by ear.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Most of my after school activities involve music in one way or another. Whether I'm giving lessons, in a rehearsal, or taking lessons, I almost always have a trumpet in my hand. However, I am also involved in my school's National Honors Society.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is definitely one of my favorites.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
I listen to so much music, my favorites are always changing, but I am a big fan of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and anything by The Beatles.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I enjoy petting dogs, spending time with friends, and going to Raising Cane's.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on getting a Bachelor's degree in both Music Performance and Education. Then I will continue my schooling and get a Doctorate in Trumpet Performance. After college, I want to play in different ensembles across the country and eventually settle back down in Oklahoma as a trumpet professor.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Nope! This is my first event with Music for All!

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
My family and I lived overseas in Bangkok, Thailand for three years when I was younger.

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This is the twenty-first 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!

SamB

Name: Sam Butler

Hometown: Fairhope, AL

School Name: Fairhope High School

Instrument: Trumpet

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Jazz Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
A couple of years ago, I had somehow stumbled across the clip of the Jazz Band of America from 2014 playing "Breakfast at Denny's." I was so impressed by the quality of the musicians, that it never crossed my mind that I could make it some day. Earlier this past fall, I somehow discovered the video again after not thinking about it for a while and was inspired to audition. It worked out, thankfully!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I've learned that trust is key, not only trusting other people, but being trustworthy yourself. I've learned that music doesn't judge, and people from all backgrounds have an equal chance of making a statement. I've also learned that music can be so many things to many different people. It can be happy, sad, reflective, progressive, and it always changes based on the person listening.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My first marching band rehearsal my freshman year was my most memorable moment from band, ever. Our first movement contained "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Miserables" and that was when I first saw how emotion could be conveyed through music. Just the loudness of the music and the big chords that gave me so many goosebumps was an amazing experience. I had never heard sounds like those before.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
For many years, I was on the high school golf team, and we were a very successful program. I made many friends that I will always be close to, and it was a wonderful experience.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
I would definitely recommend "Moving to Higher Ground" by Wynton Marsalis. It's a wonderful piece that really taught me about jazz music and what influences it, and also the influence that it has on other forms of culture, in art, other genres of music, and dance.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece of music is entitled "In a Day." It was written by the bassist in my high school band. It is kind of an avant-garde jazz piece, but it is very beautiful. I have never enjoyed performing a piece more than I have that song.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
My favorite hobby is playing golf. I used to play competitively, and I have won 18 junior tournaments. I always get out whenever I can and it is a good way to relax on the weekends with my friends and family.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
I would say never live a life where you aren't doing what you want to do.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to major in either Jazz Studies or Music Education in college.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
This is my first time participating in an MFA/BOA event.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have a vision condition called Stargardt's Disease that affects the retina in both of my eyes. It causes a loss in central vision,A so I rely heavily on my peripheral vision. However, I don't let that be a setback. I always try to stay positive and be an inspiration for others. I get my music enlarged to 11x17 paper and I sit at the front of my classes, so thankfully I get to be a normal teenager. I hope that people who are dealing with the same problems as I am can be motivated to not let anything stop them!

This is the twentieth 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!

JosephN

Name: Joseph Navarra

Hometown: Centerville, OH

School Name: Centerville High School

Instrument: Percussion

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in my band program was playing "The Engulfed Cathedral" by Claude Debussy at a large-group contest. I was a sophomore, and it was my first year in our school's Wind Symphony, and I have not since felt more connected or moved by a single piece of music. I cite this this piece as the reason I want to major in music, and I am overjoyed at the opportunity to play it again with the Honor Band of America.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite song is "An Gé Fhiáin" by Ryan George. The title translates to "The Wild Goose," portrayed by the English Horn and Oboe. This song is my favorite partly because of the broad range of styles and themes, but mostly because of a small percussion part in the middle. Around a third of the way through the piece, there is a shift to a light, moving melody in the strings and woodwinds, colored by the brass. The orchestra runs down the scale, and a bass drum plays at the bottom of the run, followed by a wood block on the upbeat. This "boom click" is such an interesting tamber that I love it every time I listen to the piece. I have told everyone I know about this tiny section of the music, but the piece in it's entirety is still phenomenal.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I am in the process of auditioning for six music schools around the midwest, and I hope to major in Percussion Performance after high school. I hope to play in a professional orchestra someday.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
This is my first individual MFA/BOA event, but I have been attending BOA events (including Grand Nationals) for the past three years.

This is the nineteenth 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!

LaurenG

Name: Lauren Goff

Hometown: Commerce, MI

School Name: Walled Lake Central H.S.

Instrument: French Horn

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I wanted the opportunity to play music with a lot of outstanding musicians.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I've learned that you can achieve whatever you want, as long as you work hard for it. I've learned that self-motivation will take you far in life. I've also learned that music is a way for people to express emotion and passion for something incredible.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Most memorable momment was probably playing in honors groups and being inspired by how good everybody is around you. And then applying that to my own learning and music making experience.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I play water polo.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
I'm not sure don't really have one.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece of music is the Gliere Horn Concerto.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I don't know. Most of my life is music.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
If you are self motivated and work hard, you can achieve anything you want. It's about working hard for something you really, really want.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to go to college and become a music performance major.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes, my band has gone to Grand Nationals and participated in the regional competitions for marching band.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am a junior in highschool and have been playing horn for about 6 years.

This is the eighteenth 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!

JuniperP

Name: Juniper Parker

Hometown: Georgetown, KY

School Name: Scott County High School

Instrument: Flute

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I applied because of the opportunity to have master classes with professionals, for the opportunity to improve my skills, and the overall educational aspect. I am also excited to meet musicians from all across the country.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. I have learned true dedication and commitment.
2. I have learned to be flexible. Performances do not always go as planned.
3. I have learned how much my band teachers invest in me and their other students, and that we are a family.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
In 9th grade, my band played the entire 1812 Orchestra. It was a very powerful piece we had a lot of fun learning and performing it.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Jazz band, choir, after school choir groups, beta club, and music theory.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Paraphrase on Eugene Oneguine, Tchaikovsky

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Salted Caramel Truffle

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I enjoy hiking and four-wheeling.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I like to be adventurous and try new things. Some things I have tried are parasailing, snowboarding, and canoeing.

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This is the seventeenth 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!

JakobS

Name: Jakob Schoenfeld

Hometown: Oviedo, FL

School Name: Paul J. Hagerty High School

Instrument: Percussion

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I always enjoy participating in events where I get to come together with other amazing musicians and learn a program in a few days. Particularly last year, I had such a great time in the Honor Band of America and the Music For All Festival as a whole, so I knew I definitely wanted to come back to have another great experience.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Preparation is vital for success.
2. Showing respect to directors and leaders is necessary to see the results you want.
3. If you’re early, you’re on time. If you're on time, you're late.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Performing Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony with the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra in Switzerland this past summer.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I play on the JV soccer team..

What book have you read that you would recommend?
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Symphony #10, movement 2 - Shostakovich

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Strawberry

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Building balsa wood structures

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Sometimes, you have to look past the immediate situation in front of you. Problems that arise can create a lot of up-front stress, but it is always important to understand what lies further down the road.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on attending a university or conservatory to focus on Percussion Performance. After that, I hope to start taking professional orchestra auditions.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes. I participated in Honor Band of America last year.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have a Polish middle name - Lukasz

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This is the sixteenth 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!

BriannaO

Name: Brianna Owens

Hometown: Cookeville, TN

School Name: Cookeville High School

Instrument: Clarinet

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I wanted to meet and play with talented musicians from all over the US. I am excited to meet everyone and learn about their passion for music.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. I've learned to never give up, and give everything my best. An ensemble is only as strong as the weakest player, and you DON'T want that to be you.
2. I am important. Everyone in the ensemble is so important to the sound, and everyone has things to contribute.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
At the last marching band competition of the season, and my last competition as drum major, I was feeling very excited to go on the field. As we were about to enter the field, my band director hugged me and told me he was proud of me and loved me. I will never forget how wonderful that made me feel.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am in the Gay-Straight Alliance, the Advanced Choir, and I'm president of the Rotary Interact Club.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The Art of Practicing, by Madeline Bruser.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Scheherazade, Rimsky-Karsakov. I performed this work with my youth orchestra, Curb Youth Symphony in Nashville.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate!

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I love to do makeup. It's a terribly expensive hobby, but I think it's very therapeutic. I love to experiment with new colors and fun techniques.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Never give up. As long as you can push through the difficult and frustrating times, you can do anything!

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to go to college to get my PhD and be a clarinet professor, and possibly have a repair studio. I also want to play with a professional orchestra. I just want to play clarinet.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I was raised by my grandmother, and it was the best thing to ever happen to me. She is amazing and has always encouraged me to pursue what makes me happy.

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