This is the thirty-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: Derek Douglas

Hometown: Sumrall, MS

School Name: Sumrall High School

Instrument: Trombone

Which Ensemble Are You In?
Honor Orchestra of America

What made you decide to apply to be a part of the ensemble?
After making my All-State band, I didn’t know what to do with my life so the question of “What’s next?” came to mind. After state level came national level so a quick Google of “All American Honor Band” brought me to Music for All.

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in band or orchestra?
1) Doing the bare minimum is never enough. Practice outside of your school band class – and lots of it – is absolutely essential to achieving anything worthwhile. 
2) Run to your set. Discipline is far more than doing what you’re told to do, but also the haste with which you do it.
3) “Level up” was our marching chant with the All State Band and while it started as us making fun of our marching director, it quickly became a reminder to never settle with where you are at. Greatness is always around the corner, it just takes a few more reps to get there.

Most memorable moment in band or orchestra?
Getting a group of people to “dab” along the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route.

Besides band/orchestra, what are you involved in at school?
Our archery team, Drama and Beta Club, and First Priority.

What book have you read that you would recommend?
Inner Game of Music by Barry Green

What’s your favorite song or piece of music?
Rimsky’s Concerto for Trombone is my favorite solo I’ve prepared.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookies and Cream

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

What’s one piece of advice you’d give a friend who needs some inspiration or motivation?
Find something you’re passionate about and give 110%.

What’s your current plan for what you want to do after graduating high school?
Dual major in Music Education and Music Performance.

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

Tell us something interesting/unique about you:
I spend all my free time at school in the band hall helping with our middle school bands.