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 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.

TylerD2

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)

SophieA2SophieA3SophieA4

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.

KassiH2

This is the forty-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!

HannahS

Name: Hannah Small

Hometown: Mason, OH

School Name: 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?
A friend of mine explained their HBOA 2016 experience and told me how much of an amazing time they had, and that I should audition too.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1) How to effectively work with a large group
2) Leadership skills
3) Time management

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Going to the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, sight-seeing and traveling with a group I enjoy being with, and performing in front of hundreds of directors and musicians.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
My high school's marching band program, Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble, and other art related classes.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Angels in the Architecture, by Frank Ticheli

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Coffee

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I enjoy pottery, ceramics, and sculpture.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Never stop doing your best just because you aren't getting credit because it will pay off in the end.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Hopefully to get into a good music school, study horn performance, and music education.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
My high school marching band went to BOA Regionals in Toledo, and came in 1st. We also attended BOA Grand Nationals, and came 3rd in the nation.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I drove across the country, and stopped at all of the weird roadside tourist spots, from Ohio to Oklahoma.

HannahS2 

This is the fortieth 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!

 StevenL

Name: Steven Locastro

Hometown: Alabaster, AL

School Name: Thompson 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?
Last year I was in the Honor Band of America, so this year I decided to audition for both!!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I learned how to be a leader, a teacher, and a great learner!!

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Playing with the Honor Band of America!

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Band is the only thing I do.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Don Juan

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Special FX makeup.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Go to school and major in performance. Then one day travel the world and play my horn everywhere I go!

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes! My band performed in 2015 and I was in the Honor Band of America in 2016!

StevenL2StevenL3

This is the thirty-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!

Honor Band of America members and friends, Brant Ford and Emily Cooper met at the University of Louisville Invitational Honor Band and participated in KMEA All-State together. These two friends have inspired each other over their passion for music. Learn more about Brant and Emily in their joint feature!

 Emily and Brant
BrantF
EmilyC

Name: Brant Ford

Hometown: Henderson, KY

School Name: Henderson County High School

Instrument: Alto Saxophone

 

Name: Emily Cooper

Hometown: Lexington, KY

School Name: Paul Laurence Dunbar 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?
Brant: I've always enjoyed playing in and meeting people from honor bands, and this one seems to be consistently amazing. It will also be a great opportunity to make some connections from fellow musicians from around the country.

Emily: I learned about the ensemble my freshman year of high school because some other members in the band at my school attended that year. I love playing clarinet and the atmosphere of honor bands, so when my fellow band members talked about their great experience, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
B: 1. Practice is the best way to change (and hopefully improve) something. 2. More sound doesn't mean more music. 3. Nobody likes an ego!

E: I’ve definitely learned to be more aware of others. It started with listening for everyone’s part in the music and then it spread to other aspects of my life. I’ve also learned that you won’t get anywhere without the right attitude. You should always have respect for directors and other musicians, and also be willing to work hard and not give up. Lastly, I’ve learned to be resilient. Not everything is going to go exactly the way you want it to, and you have to be able keep going and not let it throw you off.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
B: Playing the finale of James Barnes' Third Symphony in rehearsal with my state's all state band. For about 30 seconds, it felt as though I was fully experiencing everything James Barnes intended to communicate through his piece. It was a beautiful feeling!

E: The most memorable moment I’ve had in band has to be the Europe Tour with the Kentucky Ambassadors of Music. Our last concert was in Germany in the town square of Rothenburg. After we performed all our pieces, we received a standing ovation and were asked for an encore. I think it’s amazing that even though the musicians may not speak the same language as the audience, everyone can understand music.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
B: I used to participate in my school's philosophy club, but this year I've focused all my attention to music.

E: I am in the Math, Science, and Technology Center (MSTC) program, my school’s magnet program. I am also in Spanish National Honors Society, Science National Honors Society, Dunbar’s Cultural Society, and the Band Outreach Program, where a group of high schoolers give free lessons to band students in a middle school that feeds into Dunbar.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
B: I'm not a big reader, but Cormac McCarthy's The Road is pretty great!

E: Two Across by Jeff Bartsch

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
B: My favorite piece is Walimai by Michael Djupstrom. I first heard it performed live and it made me fall in love with the saxophone.

E: Danzón No. 2 by Arturo Márquez or Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky

Favorite ice cream flavor?
B & E: Cookies and Cream

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
B: I enjoy taking naps and looking at memes.

E: I love traveling to new places, learning about the culture and bits of the language, and scrapbooking my trips.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
B: I feel like motivation and inspiration are unreliable facilitators for achieving excellence. While it's true we get our best work done in a state of heightened motivation or inspiration, we have to rely on discipline to keep ourselves practicing and improving. You won't always want to work hard, and there will be days where you question if the end goal is even worth it. If we discipline ourselves to steadily practice, we will steadily improve even through periods of time where we don't have the desire to.

E: You can do anything you set your mind to. Always do your best and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
B: I plan to attend a university and major in saxophone performance.

E: After graduating high school, I plan on getting both my undergraduate degree and masters in clarinet performance.

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

E: I marched in the 2014 Super Regional Championships in St. Louis and the 2015 Regional Championships in Dayton.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
B: I love atonal music!

E: I helped hatch baby sea turtles and release them into the ocean on a beach in Mexico, and I marched in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

 This is the thirty-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!

IanB

Name: Ian Jef Bongalonta

Hometown: Goose Creek, SC

School Name: Goose Creek 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 have some good friends in my youth orchestra (Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra) and All-State Band who have played in the Music for All Honor Ensembles and enjoyed the experience. Participating in different ensembles and meeting people with the same love and passion for music as I is one of my favorite things about music!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1) Balancing academics and ensembles is hard, but very rewarding.
2) Music is one of the best ways to express yourself and perform your emotions and ideas.
3) Performing with different people is one of the best ways to get best friends.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
When my friend and I approached Dale Clevenger (principal horn of the Chicago Symphony for 47 years!) after an orchestra clinic and he gave us a little private concert. That moment, one I'll never forget, inspired me to become a better musician!

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I'm currently the Vice President of my school's Beta Club, and compete in academic competitions in English and Science.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
A Separate Peace by John Knowles

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Bassoon: Bonneau, Caprice en forme de valse
Band: Maslanka, Give us this Day
Orchestra: Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade
Musical: either How Far I'll Go from Moana or Don't Rain on my Parade from Funny Girl

Favorite ice cream flavor?
The type with the chunks of peanut butter in it.

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
As an amateur linguist, I am obsessed with learning foreign languages, especially by reading Classics in Latin. I also make the funniest Snapchats.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Enjoy everything you do, and everything comes naturally.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to do what I love and go into either Bassoon Performance/Music Education, or Linguistics.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
This is my first one!

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have color synesthesia, which means that I perceive certain colors when reading specific letters. For example, the letter "t" is always dark red, "h" is always bright orange, and the number "7" is always yellow to me. Sometimes, colors also appear when I read music notes. I also have perfect pitch, and can understand three languages and read four.

IanB2

This is the thirty-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!

 SydneyL

Name: Sydney Linke

Hometown: Goose Creek, SC

School Name: Goose Creek 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 applied for this opportunity last year, but made an alternate spot. So I decided to try again! The reason why I wanted to apply is to have a music experience with others from other states. I will be able to learn and communicate in different ways because of the vast knowledge around me.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
The three things that I have learned in band and orchestra is that you have to listen to the whole ensemble, rather than just yourself or your section. I have also learned that you have to work together as a team. Each member has a part that they have to fulfill and then the team has to work together to put all the parts together. One more thing that I learned through band and orchestra is communication. When we play we communicate with each other, the conductor, and the audience. Through music, we can express multiple feelings so we can tell a story through the music.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in band is when I played in the honor band at the University of South Carolina band clinic. We played amazing music and everyone in the ensemble were amazing players. I learned a lot as a musician and as a person from this clinic. My most memorable moment in orchestra is when I played in the Gaillard for the first time with the orchestra I play in.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
In school I am involved in The National Honor Society, where we volunteer around the community while keeping up with an high academic status. We have recently adopted a military family and delivered cookies to nearby firemen.

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

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Some of my favorite pieces of music are:
The Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World", Op. 95 by Antonin Dvorak
Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky
Horn Concerto No.1, Op.11 by Richard Strauss
Horn Sonata by Paul Hindemith

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cotton Candy Expolsion

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I love to dance, I  love watching movies and Grey's Anatomy, and I also like to hang out with friends and go to different places I have never been to before in my hometown.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
The success that you will earn at the end is greater than the frustration you have at the beginning.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I will be going to a four-year University and will be majoring in Nursing. I will also like to earn a music performance certificate, so I can also continue on with music.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have two different colored eyes. One of my eyes is green and the other is brown. Another interesting fact about myself is that I own an Alphorn. 

SydneyL2

This is the thirty-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!

PhilB

Name: Phil Barrett

Hometown: Brentwood, TN

School Name: Ravenwood H.S.

Instrument: Percussion

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
Multiple people at my school have been in this ensemble in previous years.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Time management
2. You must have a wide taste in music.
3. Band friends will be your lifetime friends.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
2016 Honor Band of America

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Nothing

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Stick Control

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Clocks by Coldplay

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla

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

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Don't quit.

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

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
2016 Honor Band of America; 2016-16 Music for All Summer Symposium

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I'm the youngest of triplets and I'm an Eagle Scout.

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