The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

Student Features

This is the thirty-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!

DerekD

Name: Derek Douglas

Hometown: Sumrall, MS

School Name: Sumrall High School

Instrument: Trombone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
After making my All-State band, I didn't know what to do with my life so the question of "What's next?" came to mind. After state level came national level so a quick Google of "All American Honor Band" brought me to Music for All.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1) Doing the bare minimum is never enough. Practice outside of your school band class - and lots of it - is absolutely essential to achieving anything worthwhile. 
2) Run to your set. Discipline is far more than doing what you're told to do, but also the haste with which you do it.
3) "Level up" was our marching chant with the All State Band and while it started as us making fun of our marching director, it quickly became a reminder to never settle with where you are at. Greatness is always around the corner, it just takes a few more reps to get there.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Getting a group of people to "dab" along the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Our archery team, Drama and Beta Club, and First Priority.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Inner Game of Music by Barry Green

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Rimsky's Concerto for Trombone is my favorite solo I've prepared.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookies and Cream

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

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Find something you're passionate about and give 110%.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Dual major in Music Education and Music Performance.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I spend all my free time at school in the band hall helping with our middle school bands.

DerekD2

This is the thirty-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!

GlenJ

Name: Glen Johnson

Hometown: Mableton, GA

School Name: Kennesaw Mountain High School

Instrument: Tuba

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
To challenge myself with something musically prestigious and out of state.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. To tell stories with your music
2. To be expressive
3. To play as a section rather than as an individual in a band

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Watching my section grow as a team and family.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Marching Band, Pond Club, and Christmas shopping with a Mustang.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Of Mice and Men

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Flight by Eric Ewazen

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Football, video games, editing, and music production.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Do what you love and what makes you happy.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
To study Music Performance at a college or university.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
BOA Regionals, Super Regionals, and Grand Nationals with the Kennesaw Mountain H.S. Marching Band.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I'm a big snacker and can do handstands for a long time.

GlenJ2GlenJ3

This is the thirty-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!

RobertB 

Name: Robert Brown

Hometown: Wylie, TX

School Name: Wylie High School

Instrument: Alto Saxophone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
My freshman year, my band went to the Music for All National Festival and I got to witness the Honor Band of America play music with the most extreme precision. I knew, right then and there, that I wanted to be a part of that group. Now, as a senior in high school, I feel honored to be a part of the Honor Band of America.

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.
To be late is unacceptable.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
I cannot single out just one because I have so many wonderful memories with my band program, Music for All, and various region/state ensembles.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am involved in the National Honor Society and the Society of World Languages. I am really involved in academics and enjoy learning as much as I can.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The Stand by Stephen King

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Whichever piece of music I am currently working on.

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Reading. I love to read, especially the works of Stephen King. When I'm not practicing or doing homework, I'm usually sitting with a book in my hands.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to pursue music and physics. I love the field of physics, yet I also am passionate about music. I'm currently trying to find the best option for me, where I can follow both dreams.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes. My high school band went to the Music for All National Festival in 2014 and I was also part of the Honor Band of America my sophomore year in 2015.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I also play piano. I mainly focus on jazz piano, but I also learn at least one classical piece per semester just to keep my technique in line.

This is the thirty-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! 

DemeatryB 

Name: Demeatry Brooks

Hometown: Belleville, MI

School Name: Belleville 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?
My band directors motivated me to apply for one of the most prestigious ensembles in America.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Do NOT take anything for granted.
2. Work hard for what you desire.
3. Leave any program better than you found it.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in Symphony Band was when I performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
National Honor Society, Interact Club, Debate Club(Vice President), Student Council (President of the Class of 2017), Science Olympiad, BHS Productions, Choir Club, Ambassador Chorale, Varsity Tennis, and the Student Leadership Team.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
To Kill a Mockingbird

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Mussorgsky-Pictures at an Exhibition

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Strawberry/Cookies and Cream

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I enjoy acting in plays/musicals and being involved in several extracurricular activities within Belleville High School.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Don't give up. Keep fighting for what you truly desire because in the end, hard work does pay off.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan to become a music teacher after receiving my bachelor's degree in Music Education.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
At Belleville High School, I am the Principal Trumpet Player in four ensembles.

 

This is the thirtieth 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!

MadiC 

Name: Madi Childs

Hometown: Yorkville, IL

School Name: Yorkville 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?
My lesson teacher participated in it when he was in high school and it sounded like an awesome experience. My friend and I decided to both apply, and we are both excited to be there this March!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Making music is something like no other and is truly a special gift.
2. Sounding amazing does not come easily, you have to work extra hard and love it.
3. It is a serious commitment, but has been by far the most fun and rewarding thing I have ever done.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
The entirety of my time at the Illinois All State Music Conference. Playing in the All-State Honors Band was an amazing experience. Also, my band, the Yorkville High School Wind Ensemble, was selected to play at the State Conference.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I used to be in competitive dance and also theatre. I do not have time for those anymore due to my immense commitment to music. This includes marching band section leader, jazz band, clarinet choir, pit orchestra, and other chamber practices.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
"The Planets Suite" by Gustav Holst and George Gerwshin pieces such as "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris".

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Anything with a lot of chocolate.

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Hanging out with friends or family, and playing video games.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Wherever your passion lies, put your heart and soul into it. If you want to improve, you must have patience because it takes a lot of hard work.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After high school I plan on studying Clarinet Performance. I would like to play for orchestras and teach. Also, I will continue to compose music.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I love to compose and arrange music in my free time. I write music for just about any type or size of instrumental group you could think of.

MadiC2MadiC3MadiC4

This is the twenty-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!

CatherineS

Name: Catherine Sager

Hometown: Sebring, FL

School Name: Homeschool

Instrument: Violin

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
At first I really didn't want to audition, but my sister talked me into it.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I learned that it is important to listen to the other players. I also learned how to mesh with the other players to become one big instrument. I've also learned to help others who are having trouble.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in orchestra was performing at the Grand Ole Opry with Josh Turner and the Annie Moses Band.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I enjoy literature and science.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The Nancy Drew Series

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Czardas by Monti and Canon in D by Pachelbel

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I enjoy reading, coloring, fishing with my dad, and cooking with my mom.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE with God. The word "impossible" itself says, "I'm possible."

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After high school I would like to attend the Great Commission Bible Institute.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I'm a country girl at heart. I love fishing and four-wheeler riding in the mud.

This is the twenty-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!

 PhebeS

Name: Phebe Sager

Hometown: Sebring, 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?
Some of my friends have participated before and told me wonderful things about the program.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
One thing that I have learned is that the key to making exquisite music is to listen to the other players in the ensemble. I've also learned how to work with people with all different kinds of personalities. Finally, I have learned that each conductor has their own style of conducting.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in orchestra was backing Josh Turner at the Grand Ole Opry with the Fine Arts Summer Academy.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I enjoy reading, crafting, photography, and writing.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
I would recommend the Kingdom Quest Series, the Viking Quest series, Pride and Prejudice, and the Zion Chronicles.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Crafting and Blogging

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I would like to major in Music Performance and Music Education. I would also like to attend the Great Commission Bible Institute.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am an excellent marksman.

This is the twenty-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!

JoshuaH

Name: Joshua Hernandez

Hometown: El Paso, TX

School Name: J.M. Hanks High School

Instrument: Bass Trombone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Jazz Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
The unique opportunity to play with the best jazz musicians in the country.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Being involved with band has not only taught me about music, but how to be a responsible young adult and care for others.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Getting to tour Japan with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I play baseball whenever I need a break from my instrument.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
"What we think, we become". If you have a dream infused with ambition and dedication, work hard and everything will fall into place.

 

This is the twenty-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!

EvanC 

Name: Evan Curatolo

Hometown: Frankfort, IL

School Name: Lincoln-Way East 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've always strived to be the best musician I could be, and high school band is very limiting in the sense that not everyone is at the same talent level. In the honor ensembles, everybody performs at an extremely high level and that is why I chose to apply for these ensembles.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Three things I've learned is that there are always people who are going to be more talented than you, so you just have to embrace that fact and try to be the best you can be. Another is that music is all about collaboration with other musicians. Being a part of a bigger unit helps you to become a more humble musician. Something else I've learned is that there is always more to learn, and that you will always have something to improve upon.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment in band was when I walked onto the Lucas Oil Stadium field with my home marching band in the Bands of America Grand National Championships.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am not involved in any other activities in school besides music department activities.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
While I don't particularly read all the time, I would recommend any book about music, because music is something that anyone can relate to, whether you love to play or just listen to it.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece of music is Beethoven's 6th Symphony because it was used in my sophomore year marching band show and it is very special to me.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Birthday Cake

What's your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Music has always been my favorite hobby/past time, so I don't necessarily have any others.

What's one piece of advice you'd give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
There are always going to be hard obstacles and you will definitely not win everything you try, but if you give up, there is no chance of you ever getting better. Keep on trying, because all anyone ever asks of you is for you to try your best.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I would like to major in Flute Performance at a music conservatory and either perform in a symphony orchestra or become a solo flute performer.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I have participated in the Honor Band of America 2016, and I have also participated in Bands of America Super Regionals and Grand National Championships 2016.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have only been playing flute for three and a half years. I did not begin playing on an actual flute. Instead, I started on a PVC pipe with holes cut in it to simulate a flute. Soon after, I started playing on a real flute and I fell in love with playing instantly.

EvanC2EvanC3EvanC4

This is the twenty-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!

JasonF

Name: Jason Frazier

Hometown: Fairview, TN

School Name: Franklin High School

Instrument: Alto Saxophone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I had multiple upperclassmen that attended Honor Band of America my freshman year, and the way they described this experience made me want to have it as well. Also, I watched a lot of videos of Honor Band of America and it was such an amazing ensemble, that I decided I couldn't not be in it at least once.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. Everyone matters. Every single player in an ensemble is responsible for that group's performance.
2. Hard work pays off. I worked incredibly hard for this audition and it most definitely payed off.
3. It's okay and important to feel emotions. These are emotions that you can pour into a performance and make it that much more enjoyable.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Too many to count, but my top two are performing Give Us This Day by David Maslanka at the Tennessee Governor's School For The Arts and walking off of the field in Lucas Oil after Grand National Semifinals my freshman year. Those are my two favorite performances that I've ever given.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Playing saxophone and flute consume a large portion of my time, but other than that I'm in the IB program at my school, which consumes even more of my time. It's fine.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
All of the Harry Potter series. Also East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
This one's tough, but at the moment it's a multi-way tie between Shostakovich 5, Tchaikovsky 6, Shostakovich 10, Prélude Cadence et Finale by Alfred Desenclos, Medea's Dance of Vengeance, and Give Us This Day.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Ben and Jerry's Phish Food. Absolutely mouthwatering.

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

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on attending undergrad at either IU or MTSU for Music Education, then I'll get my master's at either IU or UMich for Music Performance. After that I'll either go into teaching/performing/conducting or get my DMA.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
2014: BOA Louisville, BOA Indy Super Regional, Grand Nationals
2015: BOA Clarksville, BOA Indy Super Regional, Grand Nationals
2015: BOA Clarksville, BOA Atlanta Super Regional, Grand Nationals

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have perfect pitch.

JasonF2JasonF3JasonF4

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