The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

TOR Honor Band Member Spotlight (119)

The fourty-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!

AndrewM

Name: Andrew Morrison

Hometown: Warren, NJ

School Name: Watchung Hills Regional HS

Section: Alto Saxophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
The Rose Parade itself is a parade I always watched on TV, and being apart of it was something on my bucket list. I always looked up to BOA bands and the fact that BOA has an Honor Band made me 100% sure this would be a really special group to be a part of.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am by far most excited for the rehearsals. This isn't the standard answer, but I want to go into music education and some of the greatest music educators will be running these rehearsals. I know I will learn a lot of new rehearsal techniques that I can bring home with me, to apply in the future.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. I learned how to be patient. 
2. I learned how to keep pushing when there is no end in sight. 
3. I learned that when you actually put 110% effort into something it feels just as good as winning.

Most memorable moment in band?
I fell off my Drum Major podium one day when it rained. Whoops.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am in every possible ensemble there is at my high school. Band has taken over my life.

What's your favorite book?
25 Daily Exercises for Saxophone by Klosé

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Irish Tune From County Derry by Grainger. It is so beautiful and has a killer soprano sax part.

Favorite movie?
The Blind Side

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I hope to attend West Chester University to pursue a degree in Music Education as well as Saxophone Performance.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I comb my hair before every audition/performance/competition. I do not go anywhere without my lucky comb!

AndrewM2AndrewM3AndrewM4

The fourty-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!

OliviaB

Name: Olivia Bazanos

Hometown: North Huntingdon, PA

School Name: Norwin High School

Section: Clarinet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
My family and I always watch the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day! When I was in 8th grade, I saw on my local news station that some of the Norwin High School students were part of the 2013 band that marched the parade. I thought that they got an opportunity of a lifetime and I wanted to experience marching in the Rose Bowl Parade too.
I also enjoy being part of honors bands and getting to meet other band kids from other programs.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited about meeting other high school musicians from other states, who are also passionate about music, while having the opportunity to make music and memories with them.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. “Don’t let good, get in the way of great.” -Jack Ratica
2. Dedication and Commitment
3. Lead more by example, than by title.

Most memorable moment in band?
One of the most memorable moments would have to be after the finals performance at BOA Delaware during my sophomore year. Everyone walked off of the field wearing the biggest grins on our faces. We all knew that we had the best performance of that show.
The second most memorable moment would be when I got to step onto the field at the Indianapolis Super Regional this year. I had dreamed of marching at Lucas Oil Stadium and I couldn’t believe that I was finally on the field doing my favorite activity with my second family.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am part of my school’s Peer Buddies Club and Interact Club. I danced for 10 years, I was an extra in Norwin’s musical of “Anything Goes”, was a Winter Guard member of the 2015 Norwin Regional A Color Guard, played as a tenor saxophonist in the school’s jazz band, and played in various musical pits. I have also been a member of various honors bands, including the 2016 PMEA All-State Concert Band.

What's your favorite book?
“Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
“Salvation Is Created" by Tchesnokov

Favorite movie?
The Lion King

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After graduating from Norwin High School, I plan on double majoring in Music Education and Music Therapy at Slippery Rock University.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes! I participated in Music for All’s Summer Symposium 2015 and 2016 Concert Band Track as 3rd and 4th chair clarinet, as well as Music for All’s Summer Symposium 2016 Leadership Weekend. I have also marched with the Norwin Band at BOA Monroeville, BOA Towson, BOA Delaware, and the BOA Indianapolis Super Regional.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I was adopted from Zhanjiang, China when I was 10 months old, and I have been to Walt Disney World 20 times!

OliviaB2OliviaB3

The fourty-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!

GwynethQ

Name: Gwyneth Quitorio

Hometown: Fresno, CA

School Name: Clovis West High School

Section: Dancer

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
At first, I was reluctant to audition simply because of price and time. However, my friends continued to encourage me to audition, so I gave in and submitted an application.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I look forward to two things on this trip. I'm excited to perform with the BOA Honor Band in my first New Year's parade and Bandfest. But I am also eager to meet new friends, and march with old ones.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
While being involved in my school's music program, I learned: family is more than blood; practice does not make perfect, but it does make consistency; and I want to leave my mark not only on the field, but on the world.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was performing in Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time. Our school made Semifinals, and I recall that last performance being the best run I ever had.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am a part of NHS, GSA, math team, debate club, and the Torch.

What's your favorite book?
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Favorite song: Lights Down Low by MAX

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on studying Kinesiology as an undergraduate, and studying Physical Therapy in graduate school for a career as a physical therapist.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I participated in BOA American Canyon, BOA Long Beach, BOA San Jose, BOA St. George, and Grand Nationals.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I LOVE sloths!

GwynethQ2

The fourty-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!

DanaS

Name: Dana Sutherlin

Hometown: Greenfield, IN

School Name: Mt. Vernon High School

Section: Dancer

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
My older brother was on the drumline as a snare player in the 2013 BOA Honor Band. I saw the dancers and was excited to audition for the Honor Band this year. I knew my brother had a lot of fun and learned a lot, so I wanted that experience too, but as a dancer.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I'm most excited about marching in Disneyland. I  marched in Disney World once before with my high school band and it was incredibly fun. I think that it's really cool that I will have marched at Disney World and Disneyland. I am also really excited to meet so many people from different states.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. Practice is more important than the performances and competitions, because that is what prepares you. If you don't practice well, then you will not perform well.
2. No matter how good you are, you should always strive to be better. No one can ever be perfect, so you always need to work hard.
3. Friendships builds a great band, just as much as practicing. If band members argue with each other all the time, then they will not perform well. Everyone needs to get along and support each other in order to be successful.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment was when my guard instructor was presenting awards and I was given the award for Best Performance. He said people were always asking him about me and telling him that I was great at performing. It really made me feel like my hard work had paid off.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Besides Color Guard, I am on the Prom Committee and I am the secretary of National Honor Society. I take seven dance classes a week at Wilkerson Dance Studio including tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, contemporary, and modern.

What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is The Book Thief. Not only is it an entertaining book, but it's also full of information. It is one of the only books I've read that has kept me on the edge of my seat, while learning.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Bohemian Rhapsody is my favorite song because of how many different styles of music are in one piece. The first time I heard it I thought it was the strangest song ever, but now I love it.

Favorite movie?
Footloose or Moulin Rouge

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to go to Purdue University for a major in Law and Society and a minor in Dance. I would love to become a detective or a forensics scientist. Also, I plan on teaching dance classes, or teaching color guard.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I have been in one BOA Regional competition at Ball State University.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I raise Boer goats, and show them at the county and state fair. This past year I was the Reserve Champion in Senior Showmanship, and got to compete with all the other top showmen at the county fair in a competition called the Round Robin. That is when you show a boer goat, sheep, beef cow, dairy cow, and pig against everyone else. It was a great experience.

DanaS2DanaS3DanaS4

 The fourty-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!

AustinH 

Name: Austin Huffman

Hometown: Covington, GAH

School Name: Eastside High School

Section: Clarinet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to experience something that I may never get to do again. I know this event will showcase some of the best young musicians across the country, and I saw it as an opportunity to join them. I'm am absolutely honored to be part of this parade and look forward to meeting everyone, and enjoying this wonderful experience!

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am so excited to meet new people. I am very sociable and cannot wait to make so many new friends that I will have for the rest of my life.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
The first thing I've learned in band is how to work with a group on one specific thing (teamwork). I have also learned how to apply my skills in music to things outside of band. The most important thing I've learned in band is to care for everyone. My band is a family, and that means we love and care for everyone.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was when we took our trip to Hollywood to march in the Hollywood Christmas Parade over Thanksgiving break. I got to travel with my closest friends and we had an absolutely amazing time.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am part of the STEM program, an advanced program meant to challenge me academically, while preparing me for a career in science or math. I play soccer for my high school, and I am in Latin club. I also participate in community service with my school.

What's your favorite book?
My favorite book(s), besides the Bible, would have to be the trilogy of the Lord of the Rings. I can't pick a favorite, but if I had to, I'd say the Return of the King.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite song would have to be Til Kingdom Come by Coldplay. My favorite piece of music would have to be The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Favorite movie?
Into the Wild

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cotton Candy

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After I graduate high school, I plan to attend Georgia Tech or Auburn for Aerospace Engineering or piloting school. I may also apply for both the Air Force Academy and Naval Academy.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I love to speak. I am a philosophical thinker. I always question things, just to see how others think. I love learning about other people through conversation. I love the world and all it's people.

AustinH2 AustinH4

The fourty-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!

AbigailC

Name: Abigail Clay

Hometown: Fresno, CA

School Name: Clovis West

Section: Color Guard

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
Alumni from my school had done it and I really enjoy parades.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
Marching in the parade and getting to meet all of these talented people from around the country.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. You alone can make the band better. You are as weak as your weakest member.
2. It doesn't matter if you win, it matters that you preformed your heart out.
3. Band is one big family that all love and care for each other.

Most memorable moment in band?
This year we able to travel across the country to attend Grand Nationals. It was so amazing because we had never experienced these great bands live.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I play oboe and I spin with the colorguard.

What's your favorite book?
Ready Player One

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Happy

Favorite movie?
Every Harry Potter movie.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I hope to go to college and earn a degree in Business Management and participate in the Disney College Program.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
St. George Regional
Long Beach Regional
San Jose Regional
American Canyon Regional
Grand Nationals

AbigailC2AbigailC3

The fourty-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!

EmmaC2

Name: Emma Coker

Hometown: Lugoff, SC

School Name: Lugoff-Elgin High School

Section: Bass Drum 2

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I thought it would be a great opportunity to travel the country and meet new people that share the same passion as I do. Also, I had only been playing bass drum for a little while, at the time I applied, and I figured the experience would help me improve my playing skills and abilities.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I'm most excited for meeting the people and learning new things from the directors and fellow band members.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I've learned how to be myself around people and if someone doesn't like you, then that's okay. Most importantly, I've learned how to be more relaxed and comfortable during performances and auditions.

Most memorable moment in band?
By far, my most memorable band moment would be going to Indianapolis to perform in the Grand Nationals award ceremony with the 2017 Tournament of Roses drumline.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am a part of the BETA Club, NSHSS (The National Society of High School Scholars), Spanish Club, Be A Fan Club (a club that organizes and gets involved with the special needs programs and events), Sports Medicine, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

What's your favorite book?
Either The Bible or This I Believe II

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
I listen to almost every genre from Classical to Country to Trap/Hip-Hop/Rap. I'm currently obsessed with the song Higher by the band Unspoken. It's a Christian Pop song with some jazz/big band influences.

Favorite movie?
Either Charlie St. Cloud, or 50 First Dates.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Strawberry

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on majoring in Music Education at Furman University and interning at Music for All for a while. I have yet to decide if I would want to work at Music for All as an Event Coordinator or become a high school percussion director/professional performer.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Participating in this band will be my first MFA/BOA event.

EmmaCEmmaC4EmmaC3

The fourty-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!

KatherineR

Name: Katherine Reeves

Hometown: Marietta, GA

School Name: Pope High School

Section: Drum Major

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
Through Music for All's Summer Symposium and the time I have spent with my own band. I have learned more, grown more, and accomplished more than I ever imagined before I was a part of a marching band or in a leadership position. I believe that the people at Bands of America are the most hardworking, charismatic, and inspiring people in the country, and having one last chance to meet and work with these individuals is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
The chance to work with a group of 300 students and teachers, equally as dedicated to music I am, is a prospect unmatched by any other opportunity I have ever had.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. Putting the band before your own self reaps far more reward than a good night sleep, perfect grades, or any friendship with one who cannot understand the purpose and importance of your devotion.
2. Whether you are a freshman, senior, flute, tuba, drum major, rookie, section leader, flag, weapon, parent, director, or anything in between, you are important. Only when every member of a group performs their part to the best of their ability does ordinary become extraordinary.
3. One who is talented, but apathetic will never get as far as one who is struggling, but determined.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
As a leader, I feel that I can only serve my program to the best of my ability by focusing all of my time and energy to band. Since marching season has ended, I have gotten involved in Winter Guard and joined Sources of Strength as an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Anything that I can sing along with in my car!

Favorite movie?
Meet the Robinsons

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Turkey Hill Double Dunker...it's like mocha ice cream with Oreo's and cookie dough. 10/10 recommend.

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I am currently planning to take a gap year to begin working, getting involved with social equality and justice groups, and taking time to discover more of my interests and talents.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
In 2015 and 2016, I attended the Leadership Weekend and the Drum Major Institute at Music For All's Summer Symposium.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I was a competition dancer for eight years before I joined marching band my sophomore year.

KatherineR2KatherineR3

The fourty-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!

 KelliK

Name: Kelli Kwiatkowski

Hometown: Warren, MI

School Name: Fitzgerald High School

Section: Trumpet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I applied for the band because I wanted to experience being a part of a marching band that was outside of my school. I also want to make lifelong friendships with people from all over the country.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited about the performance at Disneyland! I have never been there and I think that being able to perform there is such an honor that I will remember forever.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
From being involved in band, I learned time management, team work, and how to be productive, while having fun at the same time.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was my junior year when my band went on a trip to San Francisco. I ended up getting very sick while we were there and I could not play my instrument for two weeks leading up to our Spring Concert. I was really nervous to perform at the concert, since I hadn't played in a while and I also had two revealing solos. I ended up doing really well and everyone came up to me after the concert to congratulate me! It was most definitely a few weeks I will never forget.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Besides being in our schools highest ensemble and a section leader in our marching band, I am President of Band Council, Vice President of our chapter of National Honor Society, and a Representative in our Student Government.

What's your favorite book?
If I Stay

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Symphonic Dance No. 3 by Clifton Williams

Favorite movie?
Tangled

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I would like to attend Western Michigan University to obtain a Music Education Degree, with a History Education Minor.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I have never participated in any MFA/BOA events before, so I am very excited to participate in this one! Although, I would like to attend Summer Symposium this upcoming year.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am probably one of the most organized people ever. People are always telling me how organized I am and how they wish they could be as well. I am also a pretty good note taker.

 KelliK2KelliK3KelliK4

The fourtieth 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!

RyanL3

Name: Ryan Lavin

Hometown: Tinley Park, IL

School Name: Marian Catholic High School

Section: Trombone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I heard about this opportunity from a friend, and I asked my band director, Mr. Bimm, for further input. Initially, I felt very intimidated that only the top 300 musicians in the United States would be admitted into this ensemble, but after some helpful persuasion from my parents, I submitted my audition, and I am here now.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am excited for a number of different things. One of which, is being able to learn from some of the most accomplished and talented music educators from across the nation. This experience of learning from these distinguished individuals will go unparalleled in my future as a musician. I am also extremely excited to share this experience with four other musicians from my school, including my younger brother.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. I've learned that in order to be an extraordinary musician, you must first be an extraordinary person. Being a good citizen and exemplifying good qualities is essential to one's focus on being a great musician.
2. I've learned about leadership during my years in band. Whether it being a leader in my middle school band, or a Squad leader in Marian Catholic's Marching Band, I've learned so much about the necessary elements to become a successful leader.
3. I've also learned about becoming a better player in just my three years in high school. By learning from my band directors, I have emerged as a smarter individual with a more focused area to improve myself, and to help others around me as well.

Most memorable moment in band?
I have too many! From participating in Illinois SuperState competition with my middle school band, as well as my high school band, to performing at Lucas Oil Stadium in front of thousands at Grand National Finals.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Other than band, I am active in our school's Political Club.

What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is probably The Mullah's Storm.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Rock n' Roll : Houses of the Holy- Led Zepplin
Classical: Pines of Rome, Boleró, Shostakovich 7

Favorite movie?
Star Wars Trilogies

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I honestly have no idea! I would be interested in attending a university, playing trombone, but perusing a degree in the humanities.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I've participated with the Marian Catholic High School Marching Band at the Indianapolis Super Regional and the Bands of America Grand National Championship for the past three years.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I really love History. History is so interesting to me, and I often find myself sitting down with a good history book in my house or at the library. I was also a drum major in my middle school's marching band in 2014.

RyanL2RyanL

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