Five students from Hazelwood Central were chosen for the All-Suburban Band and All-Suburban Orchestra and took part in the concerts on Jan. 8 and 9.
Jocelynn Wolfe and Margaret Franklin played in the orchestra on Jan. 8 at Pattonville High School, while Brian Jacobs, Jasmine Alade-Fa and Kelle Sutton performed with the band on Jan. 9 at Ladue High School.
Hazelwood Central band directors Robert Altman and Mark Thomas, as well as orchestra director Kimberly Jackson, were all proud of their students and the hard work they put in to be selected.
“The expectations for the members of these elite groups are that they practice their music on their own, attend all the rehearsals and the performance," Jackson said in a press release. "Students take months preparing for this audition on their own or with a private teacher.”
Each of the students vary in grade, instrument and the road they took in order to become members of their respective All-Suburban groups.
Sophomore Jocelynn Wolfe plays the violin in the orchestra. She has been playing since the summer following kindergarten and has taken private lessons in addition to attending a summer camp at the University of Missouri, Kansas City for the past two years playing chamber music. Wolfe plans to major in music during college and eventually go into music therapy and help senior citizens recover from strokes through music.
Wolfe has played the harp in addition to the violin for the past five years. She enjoys playing both instruments but admits that the harp is more difficult.
“My harp teacher says the violin is like my mother tongue, and harp is like learning a different language for me,” Wolfe said.
Margaret Franklin is a freshman at Hazelwood Central and plays the cello. She started playing in fourth grade, and through private lessons and constant practice at home, she was able to make the All-Suburban Orchestra her first year in high school.
“It was really exciting, especially because I’m a freshman," she said. "I’m going up against the upper classes, who all have a lot of experience.”
In addition to school and the All-Suburban Orchestra, Franklin plays for the St. Charles County Youth Orchestra, and she also plans to carry her music to college with her, hinting that she can see her future career having something to do with music.
This was senior Brian Jacobs’ second year playing tuba with the All-Suburban band. He made fifth chair with the 2009-2010 band and improved to second chair in 2010-2011. He started out playing the baritone in fourth grade, but while attending Hazelwood Northwest Middle School, his teacher encouraged him to change to the tuba, and he’s been playing ever since.
Jacobs also made the All-State Band this year after being an honorable mention last year. He hopes to attend either the University of Missouri or Truman State University when he begins college next year. He plans on being a double major, with one major being music education.
Senior Jasmine Alade-Fa plays the baritone sax with the All-Suburban Band. She started out playing the alto sax, but earlier in high school, she decided to switch her style.
“My sophomore year, I wanted to play baritone sax in the jazz band," she said. "I got in playing that, and I decided to try out with it for All-Suburban.”
She had tried out the year before and qualified to be an alternate. This year, her parents and teachers encouraged her to put in the extra practice needed to make the band, and, after an audition, which she felt could have been better, she was told that she made the cut.
Alade-Fa wants to continue playing both the alto and baritone saxophones in college but does not plan on music being a part of her major. She would like to attend Washington University.
Sophomore Kelle Sutton played clarinet in the All-Suburban Band. He has played the clarinet for six years and was inspired to start by his older brother and sister.
“My sister and brother each played instruments, and they made me want to as well,” Sutton said. His sister, Amber Sutton, plays the clarinet as well.
Sutton doesn’t take private lessons, but his teachers encouraged him to stay late after school to practice in order to make the band. While he had his doubts, his hard work paid off.
“It means a lot to get in,” Sutton said. “I thought it would take a lot of blessings for me to get into a band like this, but with a little effort and hard work it shows you can do anything.”