This is the forty-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: Julian Stiles

Hometown: Hillsdale, NJ

School Name: Pascack Valley High School

Instrument: Horn

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
The conductor of Honor Orchestra of America also conducts another orchestra I’m in, New Jersey Youth Symphony. I thought it sounded like a fun program and auditioned. Our conductor also told me that we would play Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, which is a piece I’ve wanted to play very badly. I also really enjoy experiences in honors ensembles. As much as I enjoy my school band, playing in groups like this is always a great way to learn and a great way to have a lot of fun.

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1. There’s no such thing as a “perfect musician”.
2. Musicians can learn from all auditions and performances, whether they’re good or bad.
3. Don’t leave your mouthpiece at home on the day of a concert. And don’t learn the hard way like I did.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Singing “Hey Baby” to my band director at every football game.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
I sing with the school’s Chamber Choir and the all-male acapella group The Bro-Squad. I play in the Pit Band for the Spring Musical each year. Also, I am the Event Manager for my school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society.

What’s your favorite song or piece of music?
Currently Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks by Richard Strauss.

What’s your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
I love skiing with my family and friends.

What’s your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan on going to college and majoring in music.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I also play piano and will be competing for the first time this spring.