The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

TOR Honor Band Member Spotlight (119)

The 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!

MollyO

Name: Molly Olander

Hometown: Burnsville, MN

School Name: Eastview High School

Section: Alto Saxophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I applied for the Tournament of Roses Honor Band to be a part of a group in which every member is musically motivated and inspired to achieve their best. I want to be around others who are just as passionate about music as I am, and meet them all in such a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience. I love traveling with my band at home and will love taking my music across the country.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited for performing on the international stage that is the Rose Parade. I always watch the parade from my home and think it will be amazing to be a part of something that I'll always be able to view, and be proud to have participated in. Performing in front of millions of people and being in something I'll be so proud of will be a truly unforgettable experience.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I've learned many things throughout my years in music and band courses, but mainly the value of hard work, motivation, and love. Music has taught me to give everything I have into every activity in my life. To commit fully to the things I have deemed important and constantly pursue the things that mean the most to me. I have learned to never stop pushing myself to be the best I can be and to maintain my focused determination to achieve the goals I've set for myself. I also found the value in being surrounded by the people I love. I have found a family in band and absolutely love spending so much time creating music with my best friends. Music joins people and creates unbreakable bonds.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was making it into the Minnesota All-State Jazz Ensemble for the 2016-17 school year as a junior, along with two of my best friends. I was so proud to have made it into this band that I have looked up to for countless years and had never dreamed of earning myself a spot in it. It was also unheard of to have three members of the same school make it into this ensemble, let alone have all three of those people be in the same section. Us three saxophonists had a blast at our workshop camp week hanging out, jamming, and enjoying the amazing opportunities music brings us.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Other than the musical ensembles I am involved in at school, I am in a weekly school bible study along with many activities outside of school. I work at a local meat market part-time and volunteer weekly in an Alzheimer's unit at a nursing home by my house. My sister and I teach Sunday School for the three-year-olds at my church, and I love spending my free time with family and friends.

What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. I had to read this play for English during my freshmen year of high school and absolutely adored the plot and language of the story. It seemed so eloquent and old-fashioned, and yet so relatable and real. I really connected with the story and all of its unique characters and occurrences.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite song I've heard being performed was 'Angels in the Architecture' by Frank Tichelli. While at All-State camp this summer, the jazz ensemble was sitting in the audience listening to the All-State Symphonic Band performing this piece. They were performing in a large dome shaped auditorium with cement walls and ceiling - typically a very poor room for acoustics. At one point in the song, the entire band swells with loud and majestic chords. These notes reverberated all around that space and captured every single member of the audience. I was so moved by that piece of music and the way it was played and I doubt I will ever be able to feel that feeling again for a very long time.

Favorite movie?
Titanic

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Kemp's Gone Fishin'

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After graduating high school, I plan to either pursue a career in music education or business management. I enjoy working with numbers and love how music makes me feel. I plan to stay around the Midwest area for schooling and living, to stay near family and friends. I am currently a junior in high school. I am in the midst of college tours and finding out about majors that might interest me, and fulfill my interests and hopes for the future.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
My high school marching band has marched in the BOA St. Louis Super Regional almost every year for the last decade and this event always rounds out our season. It is very fun to end the marching season with a whole band road trip down to perform in front of a large crowd in a big stadium, and spend a whole weekend enjoying the power of music in bringing people together.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
Jazz is my favorite style of music. My dad runs a brass band and I have been exposed to this music since before I could even remember. I love how jazz makes me feel and can make someone smile even on the worst of days. I love visiting New Orleans and seeing the amazing groups that are housed in the jazz capital of the world. Hearing live music is the best thing to me and I can't wait to be exposed to more amazing groups to listen to and find more music that inspires me.

MollyO2

The 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!

MarissaB

Name: Marissa Boynton

Hometown: DeWitt, MI

School Name: DeWitt High School

Section: Clarinet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I love marching band and I love meeting new people. When I first heard about the honor band, it was like a dream come true. To march in a parade with other strong players and marchers, and the Rose Parade nonetheless, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
Definitely marching at Disneyland! Disney World has always been an important part of my life and I can't wait to be part of the parades I loved as a child.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
Persistence is the key to success.
Never regret trying something new.
Take advantage of the opportunities around you.

Most memorable moment in band?
For my senior year show (fall 2016), we ended our show "Happy" with "Make Me Smile" by Chicago. The last few charts were loud and strong. When performing it at Ford Field for MCBA state finals, we cut off our final note and you could hear it ring throughout the stadium. It was my last show and the best one my band, my section, and myself had ever performed. We ended up winning 3rd place and getting a score of 90.025, both records for my high school.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I'm part of the varsity quiz bowl and robotics team at my school.

What's your favorite book?
"Monument 14" by Emmy Laybourne

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
"If My Heart was a House" by Owl City

Favorite movie?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Peanut butter

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After I graduate high school, I plan to go to college to get a degree to teach high schoolers biology or music.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
My sister and I, with the help of our band director, resurrected my high school's wind ensemble in order to provide our band members with another opportunity to play and challenge themselves.

MarissaB2

The 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!

KyleR

Name: Kyle Rusk

Hometown: Greenfield, WI

School Name: Greenfield High School

Section: Trombone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
My previous band director Mr. Evan Marlowe showed me this oppurtunity and I thought it would be an amazing once in a lifetime experience. I got the music and practiced until I perfected it for my audition video. A while later, I was in study hall and I got an email notification on my phone. Once I read that I was accepted I didn't believe it. I had to read it again. Once I did, I jumped up and went to the band room. I walked into the band room with a huge smirk on my face and then Mr. Marlowe said, "you got accepted didn't you?" I was so happy I could barely speak. That was how I decided and pursued being in the BOA Rose Parade

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I'm most excited for the audience's applause after our performances-it's the best feeling you could possibly feel.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I've learned how to effectively work as a team for a common goal. Also, I've learned that band isn't just another class. Band is a family. If you think about it, high school wouldn't be high school without band. From the very first time you walk through the high school doors as an incoming 9th grader, to the graduation music at the end of your senior year, band is there. Band is the first, and last thing you hear in high school.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band is when we broke our old score record at state marching band.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I used to be involved in my schools AFJROTC program last year and the year before, I could not this year, but I plan to next year (my senior year).

What's your favorite book?
My favorite book... hmm, I don't really know.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
There are too many pieces of music to be chosen as my favorite, I can say that my favorite composer, as well as trombone player is Glenn miller, however.

Favorite movie?
Forrest Gump

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate chip cookie dough!!!

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
My plan is to go to college for criminal justice, and become a fish and game warden.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
One unique thing about me is that I am very patriotic

KyleR2

KyleR3

The 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!

Gracie1

Name: Gracie Bohman

Hometown: Cold Spring, KY

School Name: Campbell County High School

Section: Clarinet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I decided to apply for this band because I wanted to expand my horizons and meet new people, all while creating memories that would last a lifetime.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited about meeting the friends that I have spoken to over the past few months. I am also excited to explore a new place all while being able to do the thing I love.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
Over the past four years, I have learned how to be a better leader, which will definitely help me in the years to come. I have also improved my people skills and my time management skills.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was during my first season when we made a BOA Regional final for the first time in years. It was an amazing feeling being on the field surrounded by so many other talented kids.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
At school I am involved in the Human Rights Club and the National Honor Society. Although this isn't for school, I am also apart of the Josh Cares Student Advisory Council, where I help raise money that will pay for companionship for children who's families can't be with them in the hospital.

What's your favorite book?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
One Day More from Les Misérables

Favorite movie?
Les Misérables

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to go into Early Childhood Education. I've always had a love for children and I really want to make an impact on a child's life. Also, I would like to continue to march hopefully in the University of Kentucky Wildcat Marching Band.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I absolutely love to read and I go through books like crazy. I also have an unusually large family.

GracieB3GracieB5

The 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!

Chris Holthus 2

Name: Chris Holthus

Hometown: South Lyon, Michigan

School Name: South Lyon High School

Section: Drum Major

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
Someone told me that it would be worth it to at least try out, because I had nothing to lose, so I did!

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
Getting to see pend an entire day (almost) in Disneyland with people in different states that I'm really close with.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. ALWAYS COME PREPARED!!
2. Don't take anything for granted, or waste a rep because it may be your last.
3. It isn't where you end up but how you got there and who you met along the way.

Most memorable moment in band?
The first on field rehearsal of band camp as the only new head drum major. I was so nervous and worried about how to do things because I wasn't taught well by the previous drum major so I went in almost blind, though my band director helped and it was actually really enjoyable. It was my favorite week of the year.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I've been a part of some leadership and school transformation groups.

What's your favorite book? I've read too many things to have a favorite!

What's your favorite song or piece of music? Kingfishers: Catch Fire by John Mackey or  Carolina Crown 2013 E=mc2

Favorite movie? Inception

Favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate and peanut butter!

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to go to the University of Michigan and study particle/nuclear physics (maybe going into acoustics to follow music) 

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am usually the most dedicated, passionate and adventurous person, but on relaxing weekends or vacation days, it's hard to get me to do anything.

 Chris Holthus Chris Holthus3

The 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!

EMMA2

Name: Emma Kovacs

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

School Name: Lindbergh High School 

Section: Color Guard

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
My brothers marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2011 as a part of Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis Marching Band. At that time, I participated in my middle school's winter guard. I knew it was my dream to someday apply to march in the parade; my brothers inspired me to work for this goal!

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am excited to learn color guard skills and routines in a different environment than my high school. It will be interesting to work within a group of extremely dedicated and skilled people!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I have learned many valuable leadership skills through my role as the color guard captain for the past two years. Marching band has taught me about hard work and the importance of maintaining a positive mindset regardless of the inevitable frustration that accompanies large group activities. 

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was my sophomore year at our summer getaway in Potosi, Missouri: Camp Lakewood. During our bonfire night, the sky was incredibly clear. We all took a moment of silence to remember our dear band director, Mr. Spiegelman. As we all fondly thought to ourselves, we stared at the beautiful night sky, and amazingly the Milky Way was visible! It was the most tranquil, calming moment in my life.

EMMArevised Emma4

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am a student coach for the Lindbergh Middle School Winter Guard. I am involved in Link Crew, the Spanish Honor Society, and the National Society of High School Honors. I also coordinate, produce, and host the student-run Annual Lindbergh Film Festival.

What's your favorite book? Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

What's your favorite song or piece of music? Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap

Favorite movie? Up

Favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan to attend Southeast Missouri University to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I hope to then study for a Doctor of Nursing Practice in order to work as pediatric nurse practitioner in my future. I want to help improve children's lives around the world.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
My favorite things to do in my free time include watching The Office and solving jigsaw puzzles!

Emma3

Welcome to the very 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!

MatthewE

Name: Matthew Espinoza

Hometown: Santa Monica, CA

School: Santa Monica High School

Instrument: Trombone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I wanted to get more of an experience from marching band. My schools marching band is awesome, however I thought applying to this band would definitely give me a new outlook on what different a marching band would look and act like. I was looking for the experience and hype for a marching band, and I found it here. 

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited for the parade. I have been watching the Rose Parade since I was a small child, and I've wanted to march with a marching band in the parade ever since. I live in Santa Monica, California, so I am familiar with the Disneyland parade, Hollywood tour, Santa Monica tour. The parade is watched by millions all around the world and I am very proud to be apart of this group.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
Responsibility, leadership, and what true love is. I've learned responsibility and leadership by being a section leader for two years. To me, being a leader is being a compassionate loving person to all of of the people. Leading a section is a huge responsibility, it's like being a parent. You must be loving and caring to all of the people in your section. Through this I have learned how to love. I love marching band. I looked forward to all of my rehearsals and being surrounded by all my peers. That's something special, to love something everyday of your life is a great thing. And I hope that everyone can eventually feel this in life. 

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was my sophomore year. I got moved up to my schools top ensemble which happens to be one of the most advanced ensembles in the state of California, and got to perform in Carnegie Hall. That was the most important event of my life so far. I was 15 years old, and got to perform in one of the world's top venues. It was such an amazing experience. We played 4 amazing pieces, Pineapple Poll, O Magnum Mysterium, the Haydn Trumpet Concierto, and ended with Aurora Awakes. After the final note in Aurora, we received a standing ovation. It was a great experience.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Orchestra, Pit Orchestra, and Jazz Band. I participated in Jazz Band my sophomore year and quickly learned Jazz was not my forte. I was the principal trombone for the Philharmonic Orchestra for two years, and I now play Bass Trombone for the Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra program has seven different Orchestras and they are all very advanced. In the Symphony Orchestra, we played very advanced literature such as Lieutenant Kije, Romeo and Juliet, A New World Symphony, and many more. The Pit Orchestra is the small ensemble in the pit that plays the music for the schools musical production. This year we are doing the original Sound of Music. This ensemble is comprised of very advanced musicians that can learn the music fast and easy. I have been involved in this for two years now, and it really opened my eyes into the theatre world.

What's your favorite book? Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

What's your favorite song or piece of music? Year of the Dragon by Phillip Sparke.

Favorite movie? The Empire Strikes Back

Favorite ice cream flavor? Coffee

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to be a Music Educator after high school. I am hoping to study at UCLA where all four of my current music teachers have studied. They have all inspired me to be my very best and to always be confident in whatever I do in life.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am a very outgoing person. That might sounds like a generic trait but I take it up a notch. I like to talk to everyone and get to know people. At my school, SAMOHI, I am very well known for my life and passion for music, and just knowing everyone at school.

MatthewE2 MatthewE3

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