The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
 

 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.

JuniperP2

 

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

JakobS2JakobS3

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.

BriannaO2BriannaO3BriannaO4

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

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