The one-hundred and thirteenth 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: Zayra Mata-Velazquez

Hometown: Dewitt, MI

School Name: Dewitt High School

Section: Drum Major

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the band?
Well when I first saw it at DMI, I was like “I need to be apart of this marching band that goes to Disney and wears cool uniforms!”

What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I’m SUPER excited about ALL of it, but if I had to choose a couple I would say marching at Disney and meeting new people! I absolutely love people. I’m also really excited to watch 300 people who love marching band experience this trip together!

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in band?
1. I don’t have to change myself to be a great drum major. If the drum major before me was more quiet and reserved, and a great drum major that doesn’t mean I have to be like that. I bring something to band. I will use who I am as a strength to make myself a great drum major just like that person did.
2. When you’re a drum major IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BAND. It’s kind of a nice feeling putting all your energy into the marchers. It’s kind of like being a young parent to your fellow marchers.
3. You can’t hide in marching band. There is no bench. There are no subs. You put in the work, in order for you and your band to achieve your goals.

Most memorable moment in band?
Oh goodness. I think just seeing the change in the band from freshman year to senior year is memorable. We’ve gotten closer and more proud to be in marching band. The morning of state finals I walked out of the band room and saw our cheerleaders, football team, band parents, DEWITT coming to send us off. It meant so much to me seeing the community there. It meant so much I started crying.

Besides band, what are you involved in at school?
I am involved in soccer and I am apart of the theatre program again!

What’s your favorite book?
Too many to just pick one!

What’s your favorite song or piece of music?
Pentatonix & Dolly Parton – Jolene

Favorite movie?
The Hobbit (all of them)

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip!

What’s your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
As of this very moment, I’m thinking about going to either Western Michigan University or Grand Valley State University. I definitely want to study abroad and get involved in student activities at my university!

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
Yes! Leadership Camp & Drum Major Institute (2015 & 2016).

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I kind of recently got surgery on a part of me that I don’t think is very common!