Lucy Wotell
Lucy Wotell

Lucy Wotell has been a Marketing Coordinator and media contact for Music for All since August 2016. She focuses on media relations and web content management. She is a graduate of the University of North Florida, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations.

The one-hundred and 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!

JosephD

Name: Joseph Diaz

Hometown: El Dorado Hills, CA

School Name: Oak Ridge High School

Section: Trombone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I decided to apply for the band because I wanted to march in the Rose Parade and participate in one of the best honor bands in America. I enjoy marching and playing Trombone, and was looking for a unique experience that would bring some of the best marchers and musicians together.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited about marching in the Rose Parade. I have watched it on TV before, and am elated to actually participate in it instead of watching the parade at home.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I have learned to work hard, stay calm, and to work well with others from being involved in band. Without those three things, the band and individual player simply cannot be successful.

Most memorable moment in band?
The most memorable moment I've had in band was during a football game. Our band marched onto the field, but when a left haste was called, a majority of the band turned right. Everyone was extremely confused, but we managed to pull it together and exit the field successfully.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am involved on the tennis team, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the National Honor Society at my school.

What's your favorite book?
My favorite book is the Ranger's Apprentice series.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite piece of music is Star Wars.

Favorite movie?
Star Wars

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan to attend a four-year college and pursue a degree in Music Performance. If possible, I would like to double major or get a dual degree.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
I participated in the Honor Band of America in Indianapolis in 2016, and recently found out that I made the 2017 Honor Band of America.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am half Chamorro- my dad was born on the tiny island of Saipan (in the Northern Mariana Islands). I am a huge fan of the Oregon Ducks, and have been since I was little.

JosephD2

The one-hundred and 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!

DrewT

Name: Drew Tyrrell

Hometown: Lake Orion, MI

School Name: Lake Orion High School

Section: Mellophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I thought it would be a tremendous way to extend both my social and musical boundaries, as I get the opportunity to play with some of the best high school musicians in the country.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am incredibly excited to experience the camaraderie with my section.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
I have learned that determining who you are, not just as a musician, but as a person, is a journey that you will partake in for your entire life, and there is no better group of people to help you along than your section.

Most memorable moment in band?
Watching the Clarkston show from 2015 and witnessing the best cover down I've ever seen.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am the captain of our ski team, member of the National Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society, and Choir.

What's your favorite book?
Either Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mockingbird.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Definitely Angels in the Architecture and all of the music from West Side Story.

Favorite movie?
Lord of the Rings

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookies and Cream

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan to attend Michigan Technological University for Mechanical Engineering.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
My band has participated in Grand Nationals as well as BOA Regional competitions.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
Two summers ago, I went down to Guatemala for a mission trip.

DrewT2DrewT3

The one-hundred and 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!

ChristopherB

Name: Christopher Brydges

Hometown: Chino, CA

School Name: Chino High School

Section: Clarinet

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
Because my father participated when he was in high school, I was inspired to do the same.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
Marching the Rose Parade is going to be so exciting for me. I can't wait!!!

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. Making long-lasting friendships with other band members.
2. Always performing at my best.
3. Developed character that has helped me become a better person.

Most memorable moment in band?
Winning Championships for SCSBOA - So. Cal School Band and Orchestra Association.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I have only dedicated my time to my music in band.

What's your favorite book?
To Kill A Mockingbird

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin

Favorite movie?
Super 8

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Go to college and pursue a career in Automotive Design or Architecture.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I enjoy cooking, drawing, and making things out of scrap parts.

The one-hundred and 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!

MatthewG

Name: Matthew Garza

Hometown: Fresno, CA

School Name: Clovis West High School

Section: Mellophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
My band director presented this as an opportunity to be involved, and my mom and I took it to it's fullest advantage and started applying as soon as possible. We both saw this as a way to make more memories, making my senior year something special, and something to add to my resume.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
Meeting new friends, marching the parade, and going to Disneyland.

What are three things you've learned from being involved in band?
1. Band is more than just coming to the band room, playing an instrument and performing in front of people.
2. Making music isn't just black notes on a piece of paper, it's an emotion that can be expressed in many unique ways that words can't describe.
3. Band can be life changing. It isn't about relying on winning competitions like sports, it's viewing competition as an essence in striving for performance excellence, and being held accountable for learning and using competition as a valuable resource in our lives. It's a program that accepts all students, no matter what circumstances they have, and making them feel welcome and that they are a part of the program like a second family.

Most memorable moment in band?
Participating in the 2016 BOA Grand National Championships in Indianapolis and performing our very best out in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Besides academics and getting through/school, nothing really. I'm just a huge music nerd.

What's your favorite book?
I don't like reading books. I'd rather put my face in orchestral/band scores.

What's your favorite song or piece of music?
I can't name just one. I've grown up listening to so much music that I love, that I have so many to go back to and listen over and over again. My favorite music genres are classical, orchestral, band, and video game/movie soundtracks.

Favorite movie?
Zootopia and Secret Life of Pets

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla

What's your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to become a Music major to pursue my dream of becoming a conductor.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes. I participated in the 2015 BOA St. George and American Canyon Regionals, the 2016 BOA San Jose and Long Beach Regionals, and the 2016 BOA Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, IN.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I have perfect pitch, and I know how to play piano, along with every brass, woodwind, and percussion instrument.

MatthewG2MatthewG3

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.

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