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 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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This is the fifteenth 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!

GabrielR

Name: Gabriel Rupe

Hometown: Lafayette, CO

School Name: Denver School of the Arts

Instrument: Bass

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Jazz Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
My band director, Dave Hammond, along with my fellow classmates, Rico Jones and Erik Ondrejko, recommended it.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Music is the universal language.
2. Music makes the unseen seen.
3. Music is the greatest gift of all.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Performing a tribute to Milt Hinton with John Clayton, Peter Washington, and others at the Vail Jazz Festival.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Nothing--music is the only thing I do.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and Beneath the Underdog by Charles Mingus.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 in E minor Op. 39

Favorite ice cream flavor?
It always changes.

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

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Shed.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Be a Cat.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I play bass.

GabrielR2

This is the fourteenth 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!

 PhillipT

Name: Phillip Taylor

Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL

School Name: Oxbridge Academy

Instrument: Piano

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Jazz Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I wanted to be surrounded with great student musicans and have an opportunity to learn from world class performers and teachers.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I learned how to collaborate, improvise, and lead. Jazz improvisation has taught me to create in the moment, invent spontaneous solutions to problems, and develop leadership capabilities.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
When my high school hosted faculty from the Juilliard Jazz Department and I had the opportunity to learn from and perform with Ron Blake, Dion Parsons, Xavier Davis, and Bobby Broom.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Math Team (Captain), Computer Science Team, Jewish Student Union (President), Spanish Speech, and Debate Team (Captain).

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The Martian - Andy Weir

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Here's That Rainy Day - Bill Evans

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Computer Science

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Play for yourself and love what you do, that's when the best inspiration comes.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan to go to a university that has strong academics and an excellent jazz program, so I may enroll in a dual degree program.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
In addition to being jazz pianist, I also enjoy science, math and computer science and I am a reseach intern at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience.

PhillipT2

This is the twelfth 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!

KatieT

Name: Katie Thornton

Hometown: Franklin, TN

School Name: Franklin High School

Instrument: Trombone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
In the past few years, my program has had students, whom I looked up to my freshman year, participate in this honor band. Now, as a junior, I wanted to follow in their footsteps and have the opportunity to work with amazing musicians from around the country.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Passion, endurance, and the importance of community. Passion is when you truly love something that, even when times get hard. Endurance is pushing through those times when it feels like your world is exploding, and you get back on your feet and keep going. My director, who's basically my mentor, always tells me, "You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You only lose if you give up." Finally, community is so important, whether it's band, school, where you live, etc. Everything you do effects your community, and you have to choose if you're going to have a positive or negative effect.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
I have made so many memories in band, it's too hard to choose one.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I'm in Winter Guard and Concert Band. Outside of school, I volunteer as a student teacher for my church's special needs program.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
I would have to recommend Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. My band director recommended it to me when I was struggling with anxiety disorders. I was able to learn so much from this book, and it's very rare that I worry about anything for a long period of time now.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
I'm currently obsessed with the La La Land soundtrack, but my all time favorite is October by Eric Whitacre.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Coffee

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Whenever I have free time, I love to either read books or watch movies. I love any day where I can snuggle up in a warm blanket with a cup of tea or coffee and read a new book or rewatch a classic movie.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
My piece of advice would be to just be yourself in everything you do. Life is a blank canvas and you should always leave your own mark on the world, not try to imitate someone else's work.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I am currently planning on going into Music Education with some form of Special Education or Psychology minor. I hope to work alongside United Sound and Music for All as a band director.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I've participated in Summer Symposium Leadership Weekend, BOA Regionals and Super Regionals, Grand Nationals, and most recently, the BOA Honor Band in the Rose Parade.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I'm a Slytherin and a really big Harry Potter nerd.

KatieT2

This is the thirteenth 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!

JordanD3

Name: Jordan Dreyer

Hometown: West Milford, NJ

School Name: West Milford Township High School

Instrument: Bassoon

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I am always trying to find outside ensembles to get involved with, but living in my area makes it difficult. I also love playing and meeting other musicians, and I wanted to challenge myself to strive for something that I thought was out of my reach.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I have learned how to work well with others, come out of my comfort zone, and you only get out what you put into something.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Besides my Wind Ensemble, I am involved with Marching Band and Indoor Percussion, where I play Marimba.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The House of The Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece of music is Borodin's Symphony No. 2. It is one of the first pieces I had played in a major orchestra, and it gave me more inspiration and motivation to keep working towards my musical ambitions. Particularly the third movement speaks to me the most because whenever I perform it or listen to it, it gives me an indescribable feeling of joy.

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
My favorite non-music related hobby or past time is either photography or hiking.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After graduating high school, I want to get my undergraduate degree in Music Performance on Bassoon, and eventually get my masters degree in performance as well.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have a twin sister who plays clarinet, bass clarinet, bagpipes, and is the Pipe Major of the West Milford Highlander Pipes and Drums.

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This is the eleventh 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!

MacyM3

Name: Macy Miller

Hometown: Roca, NE

School Name: Norris 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?
Music does not simply make me feel alive. Music is alive. To me, music is like oxygen: a necessity. When offered the opportunity to share my passion, I jumped and ended up where I am today! I cannot wait to be surrounded by the country's top musicians!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Being in band has taught me the importance of understanding before acting, giving my best effort the first time around, and living with kindness.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
The summer before my junior year, my band went to Washington D.C. to play in the Independence Day Parade. Since my birthday is on July 2, we were in D.C. for my sixteenth birthday. The band ate in the Kennedy Center that evening. After eating, everyone went out onto the terrace where the group proceeded to surprise me by singing happy birthday to me. I was completely shocked, and felt a wave of appreciation. A birthday packed full of the people I love in my nation's capital is more than I could ever ask for.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Outside of band, I am actively involved in my school through speech, cheerleading, National Honor Society, choir, Spanish club, and Tri-M.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The entire Harry Potter series is hands down a good fit for any reader.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
As a clarinetist, I have a slight obligation to adore Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. However, I could also listen to anything by Queen on loop!

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookies 'n Cream

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I love being around people. Nothing makes me happier than a day spend enjoying the company of others!

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
On a still growing planet of seven billion people, feeling insignificant is small. I know it is easy to think one person can do so little. Gandhi was one person though, and so was MLK. And I don't know about you, but J.K. Rowling definitely changed my life. I guess what I am trying to say is that the only thing that separates you from the greats of the world is the choices you make. The future doesn't start tomorrow; it starts today. Stop putting off your dreams. Because believe it or not, you can change the world.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After graduation, I will go to college where I will seek a degree in Music Education. Once I am certified, I will take to the field as a high school band director to begin molding the minds of young musicians.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
This past summer, I attended the Music for All Summer Symposium. It was a blast!

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
In spite of being primarily a clarinetist, I have played the alto saxophone in my high school school jazz band for the past four years.

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This is the tenth 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!

KatieR

Name: Katie Riley

Hometown: Avon, IN

School Name: Avon 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 heard from a friend about how wonderful the Music for All Honor Band was. I had to choose between Indiana All-State Band or Music for All Honor Band, and when she told me about how great her experience was it was a no-brainer.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
One thing I have learned is time management. I am able to get things done more efficiently because I feel like I don't have enough time. If I had all the time in the world to complete something, I probably would not be as time-efficient. Another thing I learned is how to not get wrapped up in the competition. Too much we are focused on the outcomes of others, when we really should only be focusing on ourselves playing better than we did the day before. Lastly, I learned how to work with others. It is so awesome to think of making music as a collaborative experience, where we all can rely on each other to do our jobs.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Last year, my school band played John Mackey's Frozen Cathedral. I was very fortunate to play the bass flute solos for this piece. But something I will never forget is the feeling when we got done playing. We played the last powerful note and our conductor let it ring for at least 30 seconds. No one made a peep. You could hear the sound of band members, as well as the audience sobbing at how powerful this performance was. I will never forget this moment where it seemed time stood still.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am also in my school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes club and National Honor Society.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
A book I recommend is Love Does by Bob Goff. This book is a collection of true stories about Bob Goff's life. They are very interesting and really make you think about life in a different way.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Right now, my favorite piece would have to be the Dutilleux Sonatine for Flute & Piano. Every time I listen to this piece, I find something new to love about it.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
I would tell them to keep their eyes on the prize. This is kind of my catchphrase, as you can find it written a lot in my music. It's so easy to get caught up in one section that is not going quite right. But you really have to think about the big picture and what kind of message you are trying to convey to the listeners.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After I graduate, I plan to go to college for a Flute Performance degree. I am not sure where yet because I still have to audition.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes, I was in marching band my first three years of high school. I played piano in Avon Marching Black & Gold and we competed at BOA competitions. I was also in the Honor Band last year.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have a freckle in my eye.

KatieR2

This is the ninth 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!

AustinZ

Name: Austin Zhang

Hometown: Plano, TX

School Name: Plano West Senior High School

Instrument: Alto Saxophone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Jazz Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
The opportunity to play with students from across America who are as passionate about music like I am makes this festival unique. The guest soloists and directors that the Jazz Band of America has every year are incredibly inspiring as well.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Appreciation for directors and peers
2. The ability to work with/deal with lots of different type of people
3. Time management/Keeping commitments

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Not really a specific moment, but I am currently the assistant director of the jazz band at the middle school I attended. Seeing them grow personally and musically has been so rewarding to me and has made me realize how far I've come in just the past few years.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Not much school-wise, but I play in several cover bands, big bands, and small jazz combos outside of school that occupies a lot of my time.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Lush Life - A Biography of Billy Strayhorn
Fascinating facts about the life of a hugely influential, yet largely under-appreciated composer.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Jacob Collier - In The Real Early Morning

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Community service/volunteering

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
"If we were a medical school, and you were here as a med student practicing appendectomies, you'd take your work very seriously because you would imagine that some night at 2 a.m. someone is going to waltz into your emergency room and you're going to have to save their life. Well, my friends, someday at 8 p.m. someone is going to walk into your concert hall and bring you a mind that is confused, a heart that is overwhelmed, a soul that is weary. Whether they go out whole again, will depend partly on how well you do your craft." - Karl Paulnack

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Attend a music conservatory (hopefully Manhattan School of Music *fingers crossed*) and pursue a degree in Jazz Studies.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Jazz Band of America (2016)

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I run a non-profit organization called Music Above All that provides free instruments, lessons, and concerts for disadvantaged kids in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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This is the 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!

MollyK

Name: Molly Kaplan

Hometown: Chuluota, FL

School Name: Hagerty High School

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?
A few of my friends participated in the Honor Band of America last year and highly suggested the festival. I love playing in orchestras and wanted another opportunity to play in a prestigious ensemble under the direction of Jeffrey Grogan.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Lots and lots of hard work is required when you are involved in an orchestra. Not only are you becoming a better player for yourself, but you also have to live up to the standards of everyone else in the orchestra.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in an orchestra is when I played in the 2017 Florida All-State Symphonic Orchestra. After two days of preparation, we performed the Finale of Mahler's 1st Symphony. At the end of the piece, the horns (all eight of us), stood up in unison and carried the melody to the end. I remember looking out into the audience and seeing all of the faces looking up at us. It was truly my favorite moment as a musician.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am a member of the National Honors Society and the Tri-M Music Honors society at my high school. I volunteer over 20 hours a semester for both groups combined.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Cutting For Stone

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Mahler 1

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Coffee

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

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After high school, I would like to perform with a professional orchestra. I hope to attend a conservatory in the northeast region of the United States and continue my studies from there.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
Alongside playing French Horn, I am Drum Major at my high school. I also played soccer and swam for eight years.

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