The fourth 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: Molly Olander

Hometown: Burnsville, MN

School Name: Eastview High School

Section: Alto Saxophone

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
I applied for the Tournament of Roses Honor Band to be a part of a group in which every member is musically motivated and inspired to achieve their best. I want to be around others who are just as passionate about music as I am, and meet them all in such a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience. I love traveling with my band at home and will love taking my music across the country.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I am most excited for performing on the international stage that is the Rose Parade. I always watch the parade from my home and think it will be amazing to be a part of something that I’ll always be able to view, and be proud to have participated in. Performing in front of millions of people and being in something I’ll be so proud of will be a truly unforgettable experience.

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in band?
I’ve learned many things throughout my years in music and band courses, but mainly the value of hard work, motivation, and love. Music has taught me to give everything I have into every activity in my life. To commit fully to the things I have deemed important and constantly pursue the things that mean the most to me. I have learned to never stop pushing myself to be the best I can be and to maintain my focused determination to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself. I also found the value in being surrounded by the people I love. I have found a family in band and absolutely love spending so much time creating music with my best friends. Music joins people and creates unbreakable bonds.

Most memorable moment in band?
My most memorable moment in band was making it into the Minnesota All-State Jazz Ensemble for the 2016-17 school year as a junior, along with two of my best friends. I was so proud to have made it into this band that I have looked up to for countless years and had never dreamed of earning myself a spot in it. It was also unheard of to have three members of the same school make it into this ensemble, let alone have all three of those people be in the same section. Us three saxophonists had a blast at our workshop camp week hanging out, jamming, and enjoying the amazing opportunities music brings us.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
Other than the musical ensembles I am involved in at school, I am in a weekly school bible study along with many activities outside of school. I work at a local meat market part-time and volunteer weekly in an Alzheimer’s unit at a nursing home by my house. My sister and I teach Sunday School for the three-year-olds at my church, and I love spending my free time with family and friends.

What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book is Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. I had to read this play for English during my freshmen year of high school and absolutely adored the plot and language of the story. It seemed so eloquent and old-fashioned, and yet so relatable and real. I really connected with the story and all of its unique characters and occurrences.

What’s your favorite song or piece of music?
My favorite song I’ve heard being performed was ‘Angels in the Architecture’ by Frank Tichelli. While at All-State camp this summer, the jazz ensemble was sitting in the audience listening to the All-State Symphonic Band performing this piece. They were performing in a large dome shaped auditorium with cement walls and ceiling – typically a very poor room for acoustics. At one point in the song, the entire band swells with loud and majestic chords. These notes reverberated all around that space and captured every single member of the audience. I was so moved by that piece of music and the way it was played and I doubt I will ever be able to feel that feeling again for a very long time.

Favorite movie?

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Kemp’s Gone Fishin’

What’s your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
After graduating high school, I plan to either pursue a career in music education or business management. I enjoy working with numbers and love how music makes me feel. I plan to stay around the Midwest area for schooling and living, to stay near family and friends. I am currently a junior in high school. I am in the midst of college tours and finding out about majors that might interest me, and fulfill my interests and hopes for the future.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
My high school marching band has marched in the BOA St. Louis Super Regional almost every year for the last decade and this event always rounds out our season. It is very fun to end the marching season with a whole band road trip down to perform in front of a large crowd in a big stadium, and spend a whole weekend enjoying the power of music in bringing people together.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
Jazz is my favorite style of music. My dad runs a brass band and I have been exposed to this music since before I could even remember. I love how jazz makes me feel and can make someone smile even on the worst of days. I love visiting New Orleans and seeing the amazing groups that are housed in the jazz capital of the world. Hearing live music is the best thing to me and I can’t wait to be exposed to more amazing groups to listen to and find more music that inspires me.