Welcome to the very first installment of a new series on the blog that we will be posting throughout the month of December. As some of you are aware, Music for All will be taking an Honor Band to the 2017 Rose Parade. Our members were selected by audition for the ensemble and come from all across the United States. We are looking forward to coming together for the first time as a band at the end of December and we hope this series will allow us all to get to know some (hopefully most!) of the members of this awesome ensemble!


Name: Matthew Espinoza

Hometown: Santa Monica, CA

School: Santa Monica High School

Instrument: Trombone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I wanted to get more of an experience from marching band. My schools marching band is awesome, however I thought applying to this band would definitely give me a new outlook on what different a marching band would look and act like. I was looking for the experience and hype for a marching band, and I found it here. 

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited for the parade. I have been watching the Rose Parade since I was a small child, and I’ve wanted to march with a marching band in the parade ever since. I live in Santa Monica, California, so I am familiar with the Disneyland parade, Hollywood tour, Santa Monica tour. The parade is watched by millions all around the world and I am very proud to be apart of this group.

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in band?
Responsibility, leadership, and what true love is. I’ve learned responsibility and leadership by being a section leader for two years. To me, being a leader is being a compassionate loving person to all of of the people. Leading a section is a huge responsibility, it’s like being a parent. You must be loving and caring to all of the people in your section. Through this I have learned how to love. I love marching band. I looked forward to all of my rehearsals and being surrounded by all my peers. That’s something special, to love something everyday of your life is a great thing. And I hope that everyone can eventually feel this in life. 

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was my sophomore year. I got moved up to my schools top ensemble which happens to be one of the most advanced ensembles in the state of California, and got to perform in Carnegie Hall. That was the most important event of my life so far. I was 15 years old, and got to perform in one of the world’s top venues. It was such an amazing experience. We played 4 amazing pieces, Pineapple Poll, O Magnum Mysterium, the Haydn Trumpet Concierto, and ended with Aurora Awakes. After the final note in Aurora, we received a standing ovation. It was a great experience.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Orchestra, Pit Orchestra, and Jazz Band. I participated in Jazz Band my sophomore year and quickly learned Jazz was not my forte. I was the principal trombone for the Philharmonic Orchestra for two years, and I now play Bass Trombone for the Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra program has seven different Orchestras and they are all very advanced. In the Symphony Orchestra, we played very advanced literature such as Lieutenant Kije, Romeo and Juliet, A New World Symphony, and many more. The Pit Orchestra is the small ensemble in the pit that plays the music for the schools musical production. This year we are doing the original Sound of Music. This ensemble is comprised of very advanced musicians that can learn the music fast and easy. I have been involved in this for two years now, and it really opened my eyes into the theatre world.

What’s your favorite book? Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

What’s your favorite song or piece of music? Year of the Dragon by Phillip Sparke.

Favorite movie? The Empire Strikes Back

Favorite ice cream flavor? Coffee

What’s your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to be a Music Educator after high school. I am hoping to study at UCLA where all four of my current music teachers have studied. They have all inspired me to be my very best and to always be confident in whatever I do in life.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I am a very outgoing person. That might sounds like a generic trait but I take it up a notch. I like to talk to everyone and get to know people. At my school, SAMOHI, I am very well known for my life and passion for music, and just knowing everyone at school.

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