This is the twenty-fourth installment of a new chapter in our Student Features series on the blog that we will be posting leading up to the 2017 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. Music for All will be featuring three honor ensembles (Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and the Jazz Band of America) at the Music for All National Festival, March 9th through March 11th. We look forward to getting to know all of these wonderful students who have been accepted into these prestigious ensembles!


Name: Jenna Montes

Hometown: Mason, OH

School Name: William Mason High School

Instrument: French Horn

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I attended the National Festival with my high school band in 2014 and I loved the atmosphere of the event. Last year, I decided to go back and experience that firsthand by participating in Honor Band of America. Since participating last year, I’ve developed great friendships with some of the musicians and I may even be attending college with some of them. The Honor Band of America made me into a better player and person, and there’s nothing like being at a Music For All event.

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
Band has taught me that if you don’t believe in your own talent and ability, you will never be able to achieve your goals. It has also taught me that music is one of the most powerful gifts to receive and to give. Orchestra has made me appreciate the beauty that comes from the unity of many different people seeking the same goal: excellence and growth.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
The most memorable moment of my musical career so far was in July 2016. I traveled to Sydney, Australia with the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble for the International Music Festival and performed at the Sydney Opera House. I will never forget what it felt like to stand on stage after the concert, accepting the applause and reveling in how far I had come as a musician.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am involved in marching band, Student Government, and Spanish National Honor Society.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
“A Visit From the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan

What’s your favorite song or piece of music?
Hammersmith by Gustav Holst

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Black Raspberry Chip

What’s your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I am a staff member for the iBelieve Foundation, which is a leadership program for high school students in West Virginia and Ohio.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
There’s always someone that is willing to get you out of a rough place; you’re never alone. Just because today was a bad day, doesn’t mean all days are bad.

What’s your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I am planning on attending a university somewhere in the Midwest/Eastern region for French Horn Performance.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?
National Festival 2014 and 2016, BOA Grand Nationals 2013-2016, ATL Super Regional 2014, and Ohio Regional BOA Competitions 2013-2016

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
When I was in Australia, I got to feed kangaroos!