October 15th, 2017
To whom it may concern,
My name is Gabriel Guglielmina and I am an alumnus of James Madison Memorial High School. I am currently finishing up my last year as a senior at Western Michigan University with a bachelors of music in bass trombone performance. I plan to pursue more education by earning my Masters in Music and eventually a Doctorate so I can teach at the collegiate level. Band during high school was one of the greatest influence for not only my career choice as a musician, but for teaching me life lessons that I use in and outside of the classroom.
Besides musical ensembles like band, I cannot think of a class where the outcome of the product as a whole is dependant on the participation, teamwork, and dedication from each individual. Auditions into these college ensembles are competitive, but once formed, the goal becomes to create art as a group of people. I am grateful for having that opportunity to participate in band in high school so I could learn what it meant to develop in these regards.
I currently play in five ensembles, ranging from the Symphonic Band to a trombone quartet. The only difference between the groups at the university that I participate in and the band at JMM is the skill level of the musicians. The same principles and expectations remain the same from both schools. I am held accountable by my peers and teachers, challenged to play better every day, and pushed to work together for a greater outcome.
I was fortunate enough to have a high caliber high school band program that prepared me for these challenges. Even if a band student does not major in music, they can take what they learned from ensemble playing into their own fields of study. Cooperation is key to find solutions for problems and often times the most rewarding projects require every individual to put in their fullest effort for a larger purpose.
From Eric Peterson:
Band was something that I enjoyed all four years in high school. It was always a nice, relaxing break from whatever was going on that day.
I began playing trumpet in 6th grade with Mr. Jaeger’s wife at Jefferson Middle School, and was a member of the first class to have been with Mr. Jaeger for a full four years at Memorial High School. Although I no longer study music in-depth, the concerts, compositions and other memories during class are things I will never forget. These memories and times I shared with friends, classmates and Mr. Jaeger are priceless. Once in awhile I pull out an old recording of a concert I performed in and listen to it, reflecting on some of these memories.
Band helped me in the sense of wanting to complete a task while creating a beautiful sound as a unit. While it is a class, it is nothing like your typical English, math or science class, it is something much more than that and is a privilege to have.
From McKaila Steinhoff:
I currently am a Junior at Marquette University, and am majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a focus in Pre-Dental. I continue to perform with the Marquette University Wind Ensemble and will until I graduate.
Band at Memorial HS helped me become a more well-rounded person and gave me the ability to think more creatively. Band also helps me take a break from my intense studies and gives me an outlet to have fun with people who also love performing in the ensemble. The picture attached is my family and I after my final concert in the Spring of 2017 at Marquette.
From Clara Morales:
Right now I am a second student at the University of Iowa double majoring in bassoon performance and arts. The band program at memorial really helped me discovering my passion for music and pursuing that passion. Band was my favorite class in high school and I have great memories of being in band and being part of the program.