This is the fourteenth 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: Phillip Taylor

Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL

School Name: Oxbridge Academy

Instrument: Piano

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Jazz Band of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
I wanted to be surrounded with great student musicans and have an opportunity to learn from world class performers and teachers.

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
I learned how to collaborate, improvise, and lead. Jazz improvisation has taught me to create in the moment, invent spontaneous solutions to problems, and develop leadership capabilities.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
When my high school hosted faculty from the Juilliard Jazz Department and I had the opportunity to learn from and perform with Ron Blake, Dion Parsons, Xavier Davis, and Bobby Broom.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Math Team (Captain), Computer Science Team, Jewish Student Union (President), Spanish Speech, and Debate Team (Captain).

What book have you read that you would recommend?
The Martian – Andy Weir

What’s your favorite song or piece of music?
Here’s That Rainy Day – Bill Evans

Favorite ice cream flavor?

What’s your favorite non-music related hobby or past time?
Computer Science

What’s one piece of advice you’d give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Play for yourself and love what you do, that’s when the best inspiration comes.

What’s your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
I plan to go to a university that has strong academics and an excellent jazz program, so I may enroll in a dual degree program.

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
In addition to being jazz pianist, I also enjoy science, math and computer science and I am a reseach intern at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience.