The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
 

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.

MollyK2

This is the 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!

BenR

Name: Ben Rattanavong

Hometown: Cookeville, TN

School Name: Cookeville High School

Instrument: Trumpet

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
Well, I'm constantly looking for opportunities and I'm always striving for new challenges. I love performing great music and meeting people who share that passion. The Honor Orchestra of America really interested me for those reasons.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I've learned the importance of hard work and how it feels for hard work to pay off. I've learned plenty about teamwork and friendship. Band and Orchestra have also taught me to appreciate others more and the work they do.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
That's hard. There have been many memorable moments. I suppose one memory that sticks out most would probably be performing in the Tennessee Govenor's School For The Arts Wind Ensemble and Orchestra this past Summer. We played some amazing music, and I made life-long friends.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
This sounds bad, but playing and practicing trumpet is basically all my life involves; other than spending time with friends and family.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Life Of Pi

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
I have so many. So, a few pieces I really enjoy playing or listening to are:
-Arutunian Trumpet Concerto
-Enescu- Légend
-Mahler 5
-Maslanka- Give Us This Day
-Mussorgsky- Pictures At An Exhibition
-Shostakovich 5

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Coconut

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
If I'm not practicing or doing music related things, I'm always with friends, or just relaxing playing video games.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
You just have to learn to see past what is going on in the moment. If you're unhappy and in a rough situation, "congratulations, you're normal". You're not alone, and every human being who has ever lived has had to overcome hardships and failures. Always make sure you have close friends or family you can talk to and will give you support. Don't push away people during hard times, rather bring them close and almost always, things will get better with time.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on pursuing a four-year degree in Music Performance. I then hope to continue my studies and education in Grad School and possibly a Doctorate. I hope to someday be performing in a top tier orchestra or become a studio professor, teaching trumpet, at a university.

BenR2BenR3BenR4

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

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