Four high school musicians will perform in nationally recognized band

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 4:55 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The talents of four high school musicians are taking them to Indianapolis this weekend. Together they will join students nationwide to perform in the Honor Band of America.

“Watching them put themselves out there and push themselves to achieve at the highest level is it’s what keeps me coming back,” Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra Conductor David Webb said.

Webb guides a room full of musicians every Sunday during their symphony practice and two of the high school students under his instruction were selected for this national performance.

“I want to make sure that I can live up to the music that I am trying to play,” Percussionist Sam Woolsey said.

Woolsey is a senior at Blacksburg High School and also performs with his high school marching band.

“I just love being around people who are passionate with music. So, you know, I really love experiences like this,” Trumpeter Julia Pearce said.

Pearce is a freshman at Hidden Valley High School and participates in the marching band and the Roanoke Valley Community Band.

Woolsey and Pearce will be joining Nick Louvet and Laura Prince in Indianapolis for the Music for All National Festival this weekend where they will perform with the Honor Band of America.

Each of the musicians talks about the hours of practice and years of dedication that led them to this opportunity.

“It’s about building up that muscle memory and getting all of the repertoire to a place where don’t even have to think about it, I can just play it, you know, with my eyes closed,” Trumpeter Laura Prince said.

Prince says she found the trumpet in 6th grade and hopes to continue playing for fun in college with a school marching band when she graduates from Blacksburg High School this spring.

They study the notes at home, but said the real learning happens in these new experiences.

“I’ll be able to share things I learned with everyone here. So like, even when only one or a few students makes it into an event like this, it helps the entire program,” Clarinetist Nick Louvet said.

Louvet says he fell in love with the range of the clarinet and has enjoyed playing it with the Glenvar High School marching band and other honor bands.

The four high school students will have a public performance with the Honor Band of America Sunday, April 2.