The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

TOR Honor Band Member Spotlight (119)

The one-hundred and fifth 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!

ThomasP

Name: Thomas Pendergrass

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

School Name: Heritage high school

Section: Baritone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I was interested in this band to be part of something that is truly a once in a lifetime experience with other amazing young musicians, and a chance to be directed by Mr. Bob Buckner.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
Getting to know other people who were inspired to join this group like I was.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I've learned community and friendships, after losing a fellow band member in a car accident my freshman year. I really understood what it was like to be part of a family in band. I've learned what excellence really requires from myself and I have learned how to put in hard work, and reap the rewards from it.

Most memorable moment in band?
My freshman year after our first competition I remember everyone screaming the show on our bus ride back because it's what we do whenever we win in our class and it was one of the most fun nights I've ever had; not being able to worry about anything and just spend time with the people I love.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I'm involved in my schools Gay Straight Alliance.

What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is The Hobbit.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite song is "Some nights" by Fun.

Favorite movie?
My favorite movie is Now You See Me.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
My favorite ice cream flavor is Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
My current plan is to attend Western Carolina University or Appalachian State University for a degree in either Music Education or Performance.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I love paintball and have played for four years

The one-hundred and fourth 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!

 BrandonW

Name: Brandon Wood

Hometown: Summerville, SC

School Name: Cane Bay High School

Section: Tenor Saxophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I applied because this is a once in a life-time opportunity to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade and because no one else in my school ever performed at a national level and I want to be the first.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I'm most excited about just being able to see California. I've never been to California and I think it would be awesome to snap some pictures while I'm there.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I be learned a lot about cooperating with other and perseverance. Being drum major has taught me how to lead large groups.

Most memorable moment in band?
My first time in the Cane Bay Bands we got into State finals for the first time ever and we were all so happy and cheerful that little ol' Cane Bay made it into Finals.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I'm involved in NHS, My Alpha Theta, and Beta Club.

What's your favorite book?
Lord of the Rings by far.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite pop song is Uptown Funk, but my favorite composer and all his music has to be Nobuo Uematsu.

Favorite movie?
The Hobbit Series

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookies and Cream

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to go to a four-year college and major in Musical Composition so I can write music for video games.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
No, this is my first one.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am a huge video game and compiter nerd. If I'm not doing something with band, I'm either playing tons of video games or doing something with computers.

BrandonW2BrandonW3BrandonW4

The one-hundred and third 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!

EdgarBjr

Name: Edgar Blandón Jr.

Hometown: Kyle, TX

School Name: Lehman HS

Section: Alto Saxophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I joined band not only because of my love for music, I joined as a way to make my family (especially my parents) proud of what I do.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
Actually visiting LA for the first time ever, plus going there and doing something that I love makes me even more excited.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
-Work smart not hard.
-Do what is on the page and add on for stylistic purpose (only solos recommended).
-Play for someone that is dear to you.

Most memorable moment in band?
After three months of hard work and practicing everyday I made the All-Region Orchestra, made the All-Region band in ATX, also advancing onto Area, and auditioning for All-State band in 2017.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I'm currently in Spanish Honors Society, making my community a better place for both English and Spanish speakers.

What's your favorite book?
I dont really read, but I read Paper Towns and loved it.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
-My favorite song is Don't by Ed Sheeran
-My favorite piece of music is Danzon No. 2 by Arturo Marquez

Favorite movie?
Edge of Seventeen

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Buttered Pecan

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Become a music major at whichever University takes me in. However, if there's a university I want to attend, its University of North Texas or Texas State.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I've participated in the BOA Super Regional in San Antonio from 2014-2016.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I can speak English and Spanish fluently. I love almost all movies and music although I'm sort of a critic to those things.

EdgarBjr2EdgarBjr4

The one-hundred and second 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!

 NathanielP

Name: Nathaniel Pekas

Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD

School Name: O'Gorman Catholic High School

Section: Trumpet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I applied for the band because my school does not go on a marching band trip like many others do, yet I still wanted an experience like this. Additionally, this is a high-level ensemble, so I knew that the people I would meet would care about band just as much as I do, making this a one-of-a-kind experience.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited about playing with this amazing ensemble. We have had outstanding music, instrumentalists, and instructional staff so far, so I can't wait to meet everyone in person!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. A good work ethic is key to achieving your dreams.
2. The people you meet in high-level experiences like these are some of the best out there.
3. Music is my favorite way to express myself because the more I stick with it throughout the years, the more I can create what I truly want to.

Most memorable moment in band?
I originally started band on French Horn, but I really wanted to be in jazz band, so I started playing Trumpet half way through seventh grade. I still play both nowadays, but I can't decide which one I like better! French Horn is a little bit easier for me to play, but jazz is definitely more fun.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am quite involved with tennis and debate at my school, but band is definitely my forte.

What's your favorite book?
The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
I have two: Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra... and
Groove Merchant by the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra

Favorite movie?
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla with hot fudge

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to do something science-related because I really enjoy it, but I also really love band, so I definitely want to at least minor in Music in college. My physics teachers once pointed out that the techniques sound engineers use in designing instruments and acoustic spaces all involve physics and chemistry to produce the best sound possible, so maybe the two are not so different after all.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
My band is usually not able to go to big BOA events, so acceptance into this high-caliber ensemble is a huge honor.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I love to stay active by snow-skiing in the winter and water-skiing in the summer.

NathanielP2NathanielP3

The one-hundred and first 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!

NicholausP

Name: Nicholaus Peel

Hometown: Bacliff, TX

School Name: Dickinson High School

Section: Mellophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
My Mother and Aunt saw it, thought it would be great opprotunity for my future, and I thought it was cool.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
Bandfest, the parade, and especially Disneyland.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I learned how to interact and work together with one another, I also learned that being no. 1 isn't always a priority, and I learned how to deal with defeat and be happy when we win.

Most memorable moment in band?
Being able to go to state as a participant in the band during my sophomore year.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I was involved with the tennis team for two years and apart of the chess club as well.

What's your favorite book?
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Symphonic Metamorphosis

Favorite movie?
Muppets in Space

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookie Dough

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After graduation, I am going to Texas Tech University for a BA in Music with a Major in Musical Performance.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes, Conroe and San Antonio (2013 and 2015).

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I can be anyone's friend, like I can get anyone to like me. It's like a charm or something.

NicholausP2NicholausP3NicholausP4

The one-hundredth 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!

ClaireC

Name: Claire Castagna

Hometown: Bentonville, AR

School Name: Bentonville High School

Section: Clarinet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I thought that it would be an amazing way to meet new people who enjoy and love the same thing that I do, make new memories, have a great experience, and make new friends!

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
Making new friends from around the country.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
Band has taught me so much. It's taught me that hard work and so much effort really is worth it in the end an pays off even if it may be frustrating at first. Whether it's on the marching field or in concert band. I've learned that we can be as outgoing as we want to in this community and be ourselves. Finally, it's taught me that music isn't just "there". No matter what piece or song on the radio you listen to, there's always going to be a meaning behind it or a reason it was created.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment is last year (2015) when my band went to Grand Nationals for the first time ever. We all went to a rehearsal a while after our first performance. During that rehearsal, they were announcing who the Semifinalists were. By the time they got up to the twenties, you could feel how uptight and nervous everyone was. Once they eventually called our name, everyone was crying and so happy because of what just happened and what we accomplished. Band truly is a big family and it's one of the best families anyone can be a part of.

What's your favorite book?
The Outsiders

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
First Suite in Eb by Gustav Holst

Favorite movie?
Elf is one of my top movies right now!

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Strawberry

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I would like to go to the University of Indiana to earn a degree in Music Education, whether it's middle school or high school. I would like to continue working with a marching band as well.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I have participated in the St. Louis Super Regional ('15 & '16), as well as Grand Nationals ('15 & '16).

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I really enjoy photography! I think it's amazing how you can capture a moment within an image even if it's just on an iPhone.

The ninety-ninth 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!

KyleL

Name: Kyle Lavin

Hometown: Tinley Park, IL

School Name: Marian Catholic High School

Section: Tuba/Sousaphone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
My older brother Ryan, who was already accepted to march in the parade, was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to audition for the honor band. My parents thought it would be a great opportunity for me to go and audition to make it into this prestigious band. I also thought that it would be such a big highlight in my life to be able to march with some of the most talented high school musicians in the nation!

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited about is being able to march with the greatest players and marchers at the high school level. It's just a great feeling to know that I'm going to be a part of all of the festivities that encompass the Rose Bowl and Parade.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
The three things that I have learned in band are leadership, setting personal goals, and teamwork. Over the course of my band career, I have my leadership skills have evolved. One way was taking the role as a drum major in my middle school's marching band. My role was to lead, guide, support and teach my peers. Leading by being a good person, having strong musicianship, and fine tuning marching style. I set personal goals for myself. Band has taught me that no matter where you go or what you do, always do the best that you can do. If you do your best every time, you don't have to worry about doing better next time. So every time I walk into a rehearsal, I am there to do my very best. The last of the three things I've learned from band is the teamwork aspect. This year with my section was a bit rough, but we always pulled though, no matter what was going on, we always worked together as a team to get the job done. We always worked as one to make everyone as good of a person, player and marcher as they could be.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band, was walking out of the tunnel in Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time in BOA's Super Regional Prelims. I vividly remember seeing so many people there just to watch us perform. What a great honor! It was equally memorable to walk on that field again for Grand National Finals Performance this year. I was so excited to be there!

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
This year as a freshman at Marian Catholic, I have been mainly focused on my studies and my music.

What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is Catcher in the Rye, because the author, J.D. Salinger, plays with your head throughout the course of the story. He uses different objects as symbols for a specific thing in the story. I really just love how the story just makes you think.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
I do not have one favorite song, I like all kinds of Classic Rock. I really just have a love for it all and the reason is because each song has a story woven into the words of the song. I also love Classical music. I like a very wide range of Classical, such as Hall of the Mountain King and The Planets.

Favorite movie?
Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate Fudge

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I have not decided anything fully because I'm very early in my high school career, but being a band director would be a great profession!

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I have participated in two BOA events-the BOA Super Regional in Indianapolis this past fall and the BOA Grand National Championships. What a thrill to perform in Finals!

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I used to have a severe case of asthma. I used to always have these coughing fits where I would cough for days on end and needed nebulizer treatments every four hours. I was on lots of medication. Then I found band, and after about six months I didn't need medicine anymore. I was cured! The tuba cured my asthma!

KyleL3KyleL4

The ninety-eighth 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!

JulieM

Name: Julie Morimoto

Hometown: Merced, CA

School Name: Merced High School

Section: Trumpet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I thought it was be a wonderful and fun opportunity. I would get to meet players from all across America, and I get to play in the Rose Parade.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am mostly excited about marching in Pasadena in the Rose Parade.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. I have learned how to help and teach others in different ways to comprehend music.

Most memorable moment in band?
Last year at the Santa Cruz band review, I remember the awards being handed out and our school getting first and sweeps on the majority of things. Just remembering the work and the practicing paying off at that time, it was amazing.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I used to do a whole bunch of sports, including soccer, cross country, and volleyball. Now a days, I play video games in the game room with my friends.

What's your favorite book?
The Steelheart series.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
English Fold Suite. It's a fun song to listen to and to perform. Little fanfares here and there with a nice sprinkling of woodwind runs. It sounds amazing.

Favorite movie?
Avengers: Civil War

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Wild and Reckless

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I would like to go to a school with an amazing music program. I want to get a double major in Music Education and Performance.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
No, I have not. I can't wait to participate in one though.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I love to learn all instruments. Woodwinds, percussion, but mostly brass. I want to play Trumpet while tap dancing for a talent show someday. It would be super cool and unique.

 The ninety-seventh 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!

CameronM3

Name: Cameron Manning

Hometown: Bentonville, AR

School Name: Bentonville High School

Section: Trumpet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
Growing up as a child, I always saw the bands preform in the parade and always thought it was the coolest thing ever. When my band went back to the St. Louis Super Regional in 2015, the advertisement for the honor band was playing and I thought to myself "Wow I want to go do that."

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
The memories and all of the people that I will get to meet, as well as getting to see and do all of the amazing things that are apart of this trip.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. Friendship is a great thing.
2. How to work with others to produce an amazing show.
3. The true meaning of a band family.

Most memorable moment in band?
The most memorable would have to be making Semifinals at Grand Nationals the first year my band went.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Nothing. Band is life.

What's your favorite book?
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Any of the Star Trek pieces.

Favorite movie?
Star Trek Beyond

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I am still deciding if I want to go to Ohio State or enlist in the United States Marine Corps.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am a very big history nerd when it comes to WWII.

CameronM2CameronM4

The ninety-sixth 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!

SavannahK

Name: Savannah Kaye

Hometown: Leander, TX

School Name: Rouse High School

Section: Flute

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I actually joined band because all of my friends were in it and I didn't want to be left out!

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I'm super excited to meet the other members of the honor band.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
Water is important, how to manage my time, and that placement is just a number. As long as you do your best, you'll get 1st place in your heart.

Most memorable moment in band?
Traveling around the state of Texas, preforming alongside my best friends, and making memories every step of the way.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I'm involved in helping animals in any way I can.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece of music that I ever played would be Sea Songs by Thomas Knox.

Favorite movie?
The whole Harry Potter series.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookie Dough.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on becoming a Zoologist.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
BOA San Antonio
BOA Austin
BOA Conroe

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have a huge heart for animals and I aspire to help as many animals as I can.

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