Thirteen North Penn students making music in District Band

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Thirteen North Penn students making music in District Band

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TOWAMENCIN- On December 8th, The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association held their annual District 11 band auditions at Upper Dublin High School. High school musicians in Bucks and Montgomery Counties were eligible to audition, which included a multitude of students from North Penn. Out of all the students who auditioned throughout the two counties, thirteen North Penn students successfully auditioned for District band.

James Carnal:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

I auditioned on bassoon and have been playing for 4 years now.”

What was your audition experience like?

“I would say that it was a good experience because I felt confident the entire time.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“My favorite thing about being a musician is performing for an audience.”

Jacob Halpern:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

I’ve been playing tuba since fifth grade, I started on baritone in fourth but knew going in I wanted to do tuba as soon as I could (they make you start on baritone because tuba is such a large instrument). So, I guess I’ve been playing for 7-8 years now.”

What was your audition experience like?

“This was my third [audition], but I still get super nervous. You pretty much wait in an auditorium with all the other musicians and it can be intimidating to hear people who might be better than you. It’s a pretty long wait, most often a few hours, and the audition lasts only a few minutes. This year I did better than previous years, which reflected in me getting a higher chair than in 10th and 11th.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“My favorite part is that it gives me a break from my normal school life. I’m pretty academically focused as a student, but I know that for one period pretty much every day I’ll get to relax my brain and just play. I also really enjoy the people who I’ve grown up with ever since I joined the band. It’s pretty much a mini family within the larger body that is North Penn.”

Liyan Jin:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“I auditioned on Oboe and I have played it for almost 4.5 years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“I was nervous before the audition but I got the chance to talk to the other oboe players and wind instrument players from other schools. Having conversations with them helped me to relax a little bit. They were all really talented musicians.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“I love to perform in a recital or a concert. I am able to show myself through music. I also like to communicate with other musicians about music and learn from them.”

Hannah Kershner:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“I auditioned on Trumpet and I have been playing it for 7 years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“Going into my audition, I was very nervous, and the process was very different than I expected. Being the first time I ever auditioned, I wasn’t sure if I made it or not when I left the audition.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“Music has always been a big part of my family and I have always liked it since I was little. I have always mainly enjoyed playing and listening to music.”

Julie Kratz:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“I actually auditioned on more than one instrument. For all three of my high school years, I have auditioned for districts on both clarinet and alto saxophone. I’ve been playing the saxophone for almost 8 years and the clarinet for 4 and a half years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“For the first time in my life, I felt calm during all of my auditions. I was comfortable with the music I was playing and I was ready to perform the music I had practiced for months.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“My favorite thing about being a musician is having the ability to express myself in new ways. All music tells a story, and I am lucky enough to get the chance to tell that story at the highest levels I can.”

Thomas Lloyd:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

I auditioned on French Horn, and I have been playing since after the winter concert in 8th grade.”

What was your audition experience like?

“My experience was nerve-wracking, honestly. I knew I was going up against some seriously intense French Hornists from around District 11, and hearing some audition before I did didn’t calm the nerves too much. Nevertheless, I still powered through it, and it showed!”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“My favorite thing about being a musician is actually a combination of three things: I) There’s always an opportunity to grow when it comes to ability; II) The friends you make along the way stick with you forever; III) Since I’m a creative person, I can come up with some kind of detailed story or tale just by listening to or playing any classical or contemporary piece, and I love the feeling of being able to do just that!”

Evan Pelletier:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“I auditioned on the oboe, which is definitely one of the hardest instruments to learn and play. I have been playing it for 7 years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“The audition leading up to it was very nerve-wrecking. We were put into groups and fortunately, I was in one of the earlier groups so I got it done early. My instrument only had one room but some instruments have three rooms: one for the solo or prepared piece, one for scales, and another for sight-reading. I was really nervous during [the audition] and I made a few minor mistakes, but the one mistake that could have cost me not getting in was stopping. When I walked out, I thought it was good for 7th chair, (and for oboes they only take 4) and 20 tried out for those 4 spots. Fortunately, my audition was good enough for third chair. I was so happy to realize that 7 months of work paid off.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“My favorite thing about being a musician is that it is a challenge every day. Being an oboist is also a challenge, and that’s why I love the instrument. The challenge of being a musician will never get better, only harder and I will continue to work to become a better musician and district band is only the start to my career. Being a musician is the best thing in the world to me and I hope to share my gift and love for music to people all over the world.”

Gabby Schwartz:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“I auditioned on trombone, and I have been playing for 7 years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“My audition experience was very stressful. Being surrounded by 45 other people who play the same instrument as you can be overwhelming. I just tried not to be anxious and focus only on myself. Also I had to wait almost two hours before I auditioned, and the anticipation was killing me.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“My favorite thing about being a musician is getting to play in various ensembles that play different types of music. I like being able to participate in jazz band, orchestra, and wind ensemble, because they are all so unique and provide different opportunities.”

Sasha Sidach:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“I auditioned on clarinet and I’ve been playing it for 8 years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“It was nice to see people at the audition that I haven’t seen for a while. However, the audition itself could have gone better and I had to wait for a long time for my turn.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“I love being able to meet people with the same interests as me.”

Jacob Stevens:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“[I auditioned on] trumpet and I have played since 4th grade, so roughly 7 years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“The audition was pretty good. No matter how times someone goes into an audition, they can always get nervous. I just went in there trying my best, and hoped that all of my effort and hard work would pay off.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“My favorite thing about being a musician is being able to enjoy doing what I love and playing with other people that value music as much as I do.”

Jakob Strohl:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“I auditioned on trumpet, which I have been playing for 8 years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“Auditioning was definitely less terrifying than last year, but as my schedule allowed for very little practice time, there was still a sense of tension about playing for the judges.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“Being a musician is eternal. It’s as simple as that. While others choose to do sports or get involved in clubs and other activities, music is the only thing that will remain with you for the rest of your life. My dad is the one who started teaching me trumpet, he hadn’t touched the instrument in 30 years before that. Music is a language. It is a culture. And to be able to immerse myself in it for so long has been a truly incredible experience.”

Cayla Vu:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“I auditioned on flute. I’ve been playing the flute for 7 years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“My audition experience was alright! I reconnected with some friends and had the pleasure staying there for 5 hours.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“I love being surrounded by musicians and music itself. I feel an emotional and physical connection as I play and truly breathe music.”

Tony Xu:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing it?

“French horn. I have been playing the horn for 5 years.”

What was your audition experience like?

“The audition wait time was a bit lengthy. It was like any typical blind audition.”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“There’s something mysterious and magnetic about the music itself that serves as another lens into humankind’s history. From baroque to contemporary, it’s rich, inexplicably humbling, and mind-opening.”

Allison Yang:

What instrument did you audition on and how long have you been playing?

I auditioned on clarinet, and I’ve been playing since 4th grade.”

What was your audition experience like?

“My experience was pretty good! This was my third year auditioning at the districts level, and I’ve been through numerous auditions from districts to regions to all-state so I wasn’t really nervous. I was actually the first clarinetist out of about sixty players to audition, and usually that isn’t the best position to go, but I just tried to enjoy my audition and have fun and I ended up ranking first out of all of the clarinets!”

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

“It’s so hard to pick one single thing. I really just enjoy playing and listening to music; it’s both exhilarating and relaxing at the same time, and I love making the notes on the page come alive with my own unique interpretation. As for music festivals, my favorite thing is getting to meet amazing musicians from across the state and nation and rehearsing exciting, difficult repertoire with such a talented group.”

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