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Q&A: High school student Scott Taylor selected for All-National Honor Band

Scott Taylor, a 16-year-old junior at Winters Mill High School, has been selected as a member of the 2013 All-National Honor Band, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education.

Taylor will join more than 670 of the most musically talented and skilled high school students in the United States to perform at a gala concert Oct. 30 in Nashville, Tenn. These students will prepare challenging music that they will perform under the baton of four of the most prominent conductors in the United States - Peter Boonshaft, Miriam Burns, Rollo Dilworth and Rodney Whitaker.

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Taylor, a French horn player, is very involved in Winters Mill's wind ensemble, brass quintet and jazz ensemble, as well as community and collegiate ensembles. He is also a member of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra.

The NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles, consisting of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus and jazz ensemble, are organized by members of the National Association for Music Education. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have approximately 150 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble will have 20 instrumentalists and the mixed chorus will have approximately 350 vocalists. Eligible students have qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and competed against top students for a spot in these national honor ensembles.

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The Times caught up with Taylor to talk about how he's preparing for the musical opportunity and what playing the horn means to him.

Q: What did you think when you found out you were selected as a member of the 2013 All-National Honor Band?

A:

When I found out that I was accepted into the All-National Honor Band, I was ecstatic. I was glad that the many hours of practice paid off. I was excited to be going to Nashville to meet new musicians and perform with them.

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Q: What was the process that led to you being selected for this opportunity?

A:

The first prerequisite was to make the All-State Band. Then there was a video submission performing the audition requirements.

Q: What have you been doing to prepare for the gala concert Oct. 30?

A:

The group meets Sunday before the gala and we will rehearse eight hours each day to prepare. I have been practicing my music and building endurance to play for long rehearsals.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about the performance in Nashville, Tenn.?

A:

I am most looking forward to playing with [the] best student musicians. It will be nice to meet new people and work with a professional conductor. I'm looking forward to the many takeaways from the learning experience.

Q: You dedicate a lot of time to musical performance. What does playing the horn mean to you?

A:

I play in many music groups and always look for new ways to enhance my performance. I play daily and enjoy working with musicians. I gain a personal satisfaction from the process of improvement and seeing results.

Q: Who or what has influenced you to pursue such musical performance opportunities?

A:

My private lesson teacher, Mr. Phil Hooks, is the biggest influence in my playing. Through the years he has encouraged me to pursue musical groups and challenges me to perform at the highest level possible. He is a great support and attends every concert I perform in. Without Mr. Hooks' instruction, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Q: What is it like to be part of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra?

A:

The Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra is an astounding group of young musicians under the direction of Ken Lam. We rehearse professional-grade music weekly and strive for perfection. The BSO musicians guide us on our repertoire. Working with this group on a weekly basis has enhanced my performance greatly.

Q: Do you plan to pursue musical performance after high school?

A:

I plan to pursue music in college.

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