This is the sixteenth 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: Brianna Owens

Hometown: Cookeville, TN

School Name: Cookeville High School

Instrument: Clarinet

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I wanted to meet and play with talented musicians from all over the US. I am excited to meet everyone and learn about their passion for music.

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. I’ve learned to never give up, and give everything my best. An ensemble is only as strong as the weakest player, and you DON’T want that to be you.
2. I am important. Everyone in the ensemble is so important to the sound, and everyone has things to contribute.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
At the last marching band competition of the season, and my last competition as drum major, I was feeling very excited to go on the field. As we were about to enter the field, my band director hugged me and told me he was proud of me and loved me. I will never forget how wonderful that made me feel.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I am in the Gay-Straight Alliance, the Advanced Choir, and I’m president of the Rotary Interact Club.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The Art of Practicing, by Madeline Bruser.

What’s your favorite song or piece of music?
Scheherazade, Rimsky-Karsakov. I performed this work with my youth orchestra, Curb Youth Symphony in Nashville.

Favorite ice cream flavor?

What’s your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I love to do makeup. It’s a terribly expensive hobby, but I think it’s very therapeutic. I love to experiment with new colors and fun techniques.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Never give up. As long as you can push through the difficult and frustrating times, you can do anything!

What’s your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I want to go to college to get my PhD and be a clarinet professor, and possibly have a repair studio. I also want to play with a professional orchestra. I just want to play clarinet.

Have you participated in MFA/BOA events before? Which ones?

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I was raised by my grandmother, and it was the best thing to ever happen to me. She is amazing and has always encouraged me to pursue what makes me happy.