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 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!

 RyanL

Name: Ryan Larson

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

School Name: Avon 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 had seen the Honor Orchestra several times in years prior, and I was awed by the level of musicianship at which they performed. I really wanted to be a part of an ensemble that played music at such a high quality. Also, my sister was in it before and pressured me to apply.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is to be dead!

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
I don't have one moment that I can call my favorite above others, but I love the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment after an excellent performance.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
It's so hard to choose just one favorite piece of music, but some of my favorites are Jupiter from The Planets by Holst, Mambo from Symphonic Dances by Bernstein, and Hoe Down from Rodeo by Copland.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I really enjoy biking- both as a pastime and as a form of fitness.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
"Be the change you want to see in the world"; if things aren't going your way right now, just keep pushing forward and trying your hardest to do the right thing, and eventually things will get better!

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Go to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Then after one year there, I plan on going on a two-year mission for my church.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
2015 Honor Orchestra of America
2016 Honor Orchestra of America
2016 Music for All Summer Symposium

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In other words, I'm a Mormon.

RyanL2RyanL3

This is the sixteenth 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!

JasonD2

Name: Jason Donnelly

Hometown: Oviedo, FL

School Name: Paul J. Hagerty 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?
From last year's honor band, I knew that it would be a great time that I wanted to experience again. When I heard that Michael Colburn would be conducting (former President's Own conductor and euphonium player), I was even more excited to apply.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Anything is possible with enough practice and determination.
2. Improvement is a constant endeavor; if you feel like you've hit a brick wall, just keep going.
3. Art is subjective-pursue the things that interest you, not just the things that other people like.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Though it might now technically count as a "band" moment, playing Shostakovich's "Festive Overture" with a tuba-euphonium choir of over 75 at the International Euphonium-Tuba Festival was absolutely amazing. The sound of that many low brass players will be something I will remember for life.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I serve as the treasurer for the Tri-M Honors Society, and I am also a member of the National Honors Society and the French Honors Society.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. It's a challenging and convoluted read, but certainly a worthwhile one.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
That's a tough one. I'd have to say Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" just because of how versatile and adaptable it is. I've heard over a dozen transcriptions that are all beautiful in their own way.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla-but it's all about the toppings!

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I enjoy screenwriting, even though I'm not very good at it.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
No matter how bad failure feels now, always know that there will be another chance, and another chance after that. The more times you fail, the sweeter your successes will be.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on attending college for a degree in Euphonium Performance.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes! I was a member of the 2016 Honor Band of America conducted by Richard Floyd.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
While I am here for my euphonium playing, I also play many other instruments in various ensembles, including tenor and bass trombone, and multiple saxophones.

JasonDJasonD3

This is the 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!

SolomonA

Name: Solomon Alber

Hometown: Pleasanton, CA

School Name: Amador Valley High School

Instrument: Tenor Saxophone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Jazz Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I had heard about the Jazz Band of America from some friends of mine and from the videos of some of the past ensemble performances I gathered. I noticed the level high level of musicianship and my goal was to be apart of the band.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I have learned that music, especially jazz music is a very involved activity that requires teamwork, yet also calls for individuality and uniqueness. Each member in the band needs to be solid and consistent when playing their part. Finally, musicians need to communicate with each other, whether it's between the drums and the bass in the rhythm section when keeping the time or the interaction between the soloist and the rhythm section.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in band was during a solo section where I was soloing and all of a sudden the bass started to play off of the melodies I was creating. This then led to a distinct conversation between the rhythm section and myself as the soloist, that was innovative and conducive to a unique form of creativity. At one point, I remember utilizing the snare drum rhythms that the drummer was implementing into his swing feel.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Besides band, I am involved in UNICEF events held at my school, computer science projects formed with other students, and volunteering for extracurricular events held at school.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
A book I have read is called Ready Player One and I would recommend this book because it is full of suspense and does a superb job utilizing elements of 80s pop culture in a technological dystopian theme, in addition to this weaving in a creative storyline.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece of music is called "Danza del Altiplano" by Leo Brouwer because it has a virtuoso quality yet, it also possesses a culturally rich and blues influenced sound.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
My favorite non-music related hobby or past time is spending time with friends exploring the world and discussing many interesting topics such as philosophy, science, and politics.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
One piece of advice I would give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation is instead of taking on something that does not interest you, find something you are interested in and pursue it to the best of your ability.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
My current plan for what I want to do after graduating high school is to continue studying music and progressing to the best of my ability. I also want to continue to gain knowledge to be a well rounded individual.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I have not participated in MFA/BOA events before.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am a bilingual. I understand both English and Russian. My family is mostly from places such as Israel, Ukraine, and Russia.

This is the 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!

JTH

Name: J.T. Holdbrooks

Hometown: Alabaster, AL

School Name: Thompson 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?
To be apart of an ensemble other than just my band at home!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I've learned to manage my time, how to work with others, and how powerful music can be to others.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Playing at the Music for All National Festival with my Wind Ensemble two years ago!

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookie dough

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Going to the lake and kayaking.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Go to the University of Alabama and study Music Performance!

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes. I played with my Wind Ensemble at the Music for All National Festival in 2015.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I play the Alto Saxophone in Marching Band.

This is the 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!

GreyV

Name: Grey Vandeberg

Hometown: Madison, AL

School Name: Bob Jones High School

Instrument: Baritone Saxophone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
When I was in eighth grade, I listened to a recording of the 2011 Honor Band of America on Youtube. I was absolutely astounded with the quality of musicianship in the ensemble, and despite having no intentions of actually making it, I figured it would be better to be safe than sorry.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I've learned how to be a leader through my time directing the sectionals and assisting the middle school band, how to develop a more efficient work ethic through my rigorous practicing schedule, and how to help my peers through strenuous situations through the difficulties that come with band.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
I was apprehensive about the saxophone my first year as I was playing the alto, but the first time I played the baritone, I knew that my heart lied in band. I will never forget the first note I played on the bari.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Tri M Honor Society (officer), Social Studies Honor Society (officer), Debate team, Model UN, Science Honor Society, Science Bowl Team, and National Honor Society.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
The Tattooed Bride by Duke Ellington

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I am an avid movie-goer, and have a real passion for cinema.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on attending Vanderbilt as my first choice college and double majoring in Biochemistry and Music.

This is the 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!

MeganS

Name: Megan Savage

Hometown: Port St. Lucie, FL

School Name: Homeschool

Instrument: Cello

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
The opportunity to perform with students from all over the country and with outstanding conductors.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Music is a universal language that can be used to communicate with everyone, regardless of beliefs, cultures, age, and interests. Music can also reflect every human emotion, becoming a way to speak without words. It is a skill that you will carry with you the rest of your life.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Performing Dvorak's 8th Symphony in the Straz Performing Arts Center.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I enjoy taking science, foreign language, and being the representative for the medical laboratory technologist club.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Passacaglia by Handel

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Improvisational abstract sketching

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Whatever you find your hand to do, do so with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10a

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Major in music performance, and possibly biological science.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Honor Orchestra of America, 2015 & 2016.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am a first degree black belt in taekwondo.

This is the 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 9 through March 11. We look forward to getting to know all of these wonderful students who have been accepted into these prestigious ensembles!

KamaliC

Name: Kamali Clora

Hometown: Bellevile, MI

School Name: Belleville 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?
As a musician, my desire is to hoan my skills as a trombonist and expand my knowledge of music. To do that, it is pivotal that I expose myself in environments where I can share the same musical aspirations as my peers. Being able to play beautiful symphonies with people who take music as seriously as I do is a great experience. It is an honor to be playing in the Honor Band of America because of prestine reputation, high achievements in musicality, as well as the respectable educational setting. I believe there is nothing more powerful than a group of young musicians with the same passions towards music, who work together to accomplish a common goal.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Not to ride on my talent to get the job done.
2. Do not take these experiences for granted.
3. Have fun while playing and feel the music!

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Discovering the music and learning it bar by bar with my band mates, then being able to perform it at a concert showing people how hard we worked.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
-Science Olympia Team
-Debate Club
-Theatre
-Interact Club
-National Honor Society
-Student Council
-Choir Club
-Student Leadership Team
-Chess Club
-Table Tennis Club
-Spanish Club
-Varsity Tennis

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Symphony No.9 by Antonin Dvorak

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla Oreo

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I like to play chess, pool, and tennis.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Just know everything will get better in due time, keep your head up and smile. Good things will come to those who wait!

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I hope to attend the University of Michigan and enter the pre-med program.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am kind and is always happy. I believe laughter is the best medicine and to live life to the fullest!

KamaliC2

The one-hundred and ninteenth installment of a new series on the blog that we will be posting throughout the month of December. As some of you are aware, Music for All will be taking an Honor Band to the 2017 Rose Parade. Our members were selected by audition for the ensemble and come from all across the United States. We are looking forward to coming together for the first time as a band at the end of December and we hope this series will allow us all to get to know some (hopefully most!) of the members of this awesome ensemble!

 JenniferP

Name: Jennifer Plank

Hometown: Germantown, WI

School Name: Germantown High School

Section: Tenor Saxophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
When I was going into my freshman year of high school, I attended the Music for All Summer Symposium and heard about this amazing opportunity to be in the 2013 Honor Band of America Rose Parade Band. However, my band had it's own trip planned at the same time. Senior year, I heard about this opportunity again at camp. It was something that I was sad about not participating in at that time, so I was determined to participate this time around.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am so excited for the actual parade and to be able to go to Disneyland. Large parades are always such a unique experience, and since I have never been to Disneyland I am very excited to visit there as well.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I have learned in band that you will always have a family there. Not only that, but I've also learned how to work better in a group towards one common goal, as well as how to work better with people you may not always get along with the best.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable band moment was during my freshman year on a trip to England. When we were taking the tube (subway) back to the hotel for evening rehearsal with our chaperone, one of the main stations we needed to be able to get back quickly was shut down for some reason. Because of this, we had to somehow find a way to get back to the hotel, which we managed to do. The only problem was we showed up an hour late and missed the rehearsal. Thankfully the rest of the trip went according to plan!

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Besides band, I was involved with Theatre, various volunteer societies and honor societies, strategist club, and Track and Field.

What's your favorite book?
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece of music is River Flows in You by Yiruma. It is always so relaxing to listen to and I love playing this piece.

Favorite movie?
Avatar (James Cameron)

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Orange Dream

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan to study Entertainment Design with a concentration in Animation at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I have been a part of the Music for All Summer Symposium for four years from 2012-2015.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
In addition to playing the saxophone, I also play piano and am learning how to play guitar. With my band, I have also traveled to England, Germany, and Austria. I was also able to experience a short study abroad stay with a host family in Costa Rica through my school.

JenniferP2

The one-hundred and eighteenth installment of a new series on the blog that we will be posting throughout the month of December. As some of you are aware, Music for All will be taking an Honor Band to the 2017 Rose Parade. Our members were selected by audition for the ensemble and come from all across the United States. We are looking forward to coming together for the first time as a band at the end of December and we hope this series will allow us all to get to know some (hopefully most!) of the members of this awesome ensemble!

 TimothyC

Name: Timothy Childs

Hometown: Fresno, CA

School Name: Clovis North High School

Section: Baritone Saxophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
My band director called my friends Cameron and John, and me into his office. We had no idea why we were there, but when he told us about the BOA Honor Band we were ecstatic about it! Now that we are accepted, we are even more excited to get started!

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am excited about meeting so many people scattered across the United States.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I have learned how much hard work can get you to achieve your goals. In addition, I have learned the acts of discipline and respect for our band directors.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was at WBA grand championships, when it rained out right after our preformance. Even though it didn't count, my band and I had the greatest run through ever.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am not really involved in much other than band, however I am participating in my Jazz Band, Winter Percussion, Marching Band, and Wind Ensemble currently.

What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite song is a jazz piece called 23 degrees north 82 degrees west.

Favorite movie?
Back to the Future

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to go and pursue studio work and music. Hopefully I can teach music also.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I have never participated in a BOA event, but I am excited about participating in the Honor Band.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I play guitar in my Jazz Band instead of saxophone.

TimothyC2TimothyC3TimothyC4

The one-hundred and seventeenth installment of a new series on the blog that we will be posting throughout the month of December. As some of you are aware, Music for All will be taking an Honor Band to the 2017 Rose Parade. Our members were selected by audition for the ensemble and come from all across the United States. We are looking forward to coming together for the first time as a band at the end of December and we hope this series will allow us all to get to know some (hopefully most!) of the members of this awesome ensemble!

CameronB 

Name: Cameron Baber

Hometown: Fresno, CA

School Name: Clovis North High School

Section: Alto Saxophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
My director had called me into the office one day with some other students and said, "So the Rose Parade is coming up and I believe all of you are extremely capable musicians who should audition for this group." At first, it didn't entirely hit me how incredible the experience would actually be until I saw all of the cool things that the ensemble would be doing and that's what really sold me on the thought of being a part of this group.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
As excited I am to perform in the Rose Parade, there is just something about performing in a Disneyland Parade that's really got me pumped!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I think one of my biggest takeaways from band has been just how powerful music is and how it can bring people so close to one another. It's just really mind-boggling to me how a group of strangers can get together, but when they play the first couple notes on their horns they can instantly connect. One other thing that I would say I've really started to understand with band is that you don't need the title of leader to be one in your ensemble. Leading by example is a really powerful idea that I feel is one the most powerful things my director has taught me. Finally, I'd say I've learned how to become more aware and critical of myself in whatever I do; whether it be music or school, I'm constantly trying to analyze what I can do better in the future.

Most memorable moment in band?
I would have to say my most memorable moment in band was during the WBA 2016 Grand Championships when rain was pouring down on our band! It was so cool because I got to see the front ensemble hitting their cymbals and water flying up during each crash! The weather may have been against us, but I know that everyone walked off of that field with the biggest smiles on their faces!

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
In all honesty, band is my life. At my school I currently participate in a Big Band Jazz Ensemble, Winter Percussion, and Symphony Orchestra. I'm glad to say I couldn't happier participating in all of these groups!

What's your favorite book?
I know some of my classmates would adamantly disagree with me on this one, but I actually enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Currently, one of my favorite pieces of music is a song that our wind ensemble is playing at home called "Moth" by a really talented composer named Viet Cuong. The imagery in the piece is just insane and I recommend that everyone go check it out!

Favorite movie?
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After high school I'm thinking of attending a city college near home for a couple of years, so I can land on my feet financially and really confirm with myself what I want to do in the future. I would absolutely LOVE to do something with music in my future, whether it be performance or Music Education, I would really like to keep music in my life. If for some reason it happens not to work out in the future, I would also be happy to pursue a career in Computer Engineering.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
At the moment, no, I have not participated in any MFA/BOA events before this. Most of the events which I attend are part of the Western Band Association. But I do believe my director has aspirations to take our band to BOA level events sometime in the near future.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have a Black Laborador at home named "Bear".

CameronB2CameronB4

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