This is the forty-second 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: Kassi Hatakenaka

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

School Name: Kalani High School

Instrument: Clarinet

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
Since our school band will be participating in the festival, our band director mentioned that we could audition for this prestigious ensemble. The Honor Band of America would give me an opportunity to play with other skilled musicians from around the country.

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1) If you’re willing to put in the effort, the results you get will be incredible.
2) Do not rely on others to always be there to play a difficult section of music. Always practice everything, so if something happens you’ll be good to go.
3) Respect the people who helped you on your musical journey. In some way or another they helped to get you are where you are today.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
My most memorable moment was being in the Oahu Band Directors Association Middle School Select Band for the first time in 7th grade. Even though it was a long time ago, I still remember what an eye-opening experience it was to hear others from different schools.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I did Judo last year, but learned that I should stick to music.

What’s your favorite song or piece of music?
Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Aldridge Grainger.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What’s one piece of advice you’d give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
There may be something that’s difficult for you to do, but if you’re passionate about it and work hard, you can improve so much. When other people see that you care, you’ll motivate them to do their best.

What’s your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan to attend college and major in music education.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
My wrists are double jointed.