In January, my son performed in four concerts and had an audition—all in the span of two weeks.
Whew! I had forgotten how busy band kids could be, and he’s only in junior high.
Two of these events were the Ohio Music Education Association District 14 Junior High Honor Band and Honor Orchestra. For each of these concerts, the students in the area spent an intense several days learning the pieces and then performed them for large audiences.
I was busting with pride when he sat first chair and played a saxophone solo in the song “Unraveling” by Andrew Boysen Jr.
Huge thanks go to his honor ensemble directors—Avious Jackson and Stephanie Jones from Mason (Ohio) High School—as well as to his school instructors—Ryan Lamb, James Blankenship, and Jordan VonWahlde at Sycamore Junior High in Cincinnati.
Though my son is an excellent saxophone player, his true passion is piano, and he hopes to be a professional concert soloist one day (hence, he auditioned for Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts). He’s come a long way since he started at the age of 7 when he didn’t want to play piano because it was “too hard.”
Consistently through the years, I’ve reminded my son about three factors—talent, effort, and a positive attitude—that create a formula for success.
The pages of this issue are filled with bands and students whose talent, effort, and positive attitude have helped them succeed at even larger public events such as the Tournament of Roses, other bowl game parades, and the College Football Playoff National Championship game.
Like my son experienced in the honor ensembles, many of these groups have excelled by devoting huge amounts of time toward perfecting their performances in just a few short days or possibly a couple of weeks. But also like my son, those intense moments of musical focus only become possible due to years of hard work.
In this issue, we also follow up on our high school “Living History” story from November/December 2018 and bring you a look back at “College Firsts”, profiling the first college band, first college band to perform a halftime show, first band known to create a pictorial formation, and band with the first college fight song.
Thank you for continuing to share your talent, effort, and positive attitude with us!
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief