These 20 outstanding honor band musicians were selected from over 1000 Western International Band Clinic auditions in the fall of 2018. The WIBC Board of Directors selected these top students from various high schools throughout the United States.
Issaquah High School HS - Washington
Andrew is 17 years old and a junior at Issaquah High School in Washington. He has been playing saxophone in both the wind ensemble and the jazz band at his school for 5 years. He enjoys spending his outside hours arranging music for his friends in the marching band and going to jam sessions to get better at playing. He is very excited to go to Australia and enjoy playing good music with PHEP. He is excited to learn from the trip and broaden his view on the world.
After high school, he plans to pursue a chemistry major and hopefully become a doctor while also keeping music close to him and keeping it throughout all of college and beyond.
Issaquah High School HS - Washington
Emma is 16 years old and will graduate from Issaquah High School in 2021. She has been playing for a little over 4 years now and has no regrets picking up an oboe for the first time in sixth grade. She is a member of her school's wind ensemble and district orchestra, Evergreen Philharmonic. She also enjoys playing in her school's drumline for marching band. Outside of school she is the principal oboist of the Bellevue Youth Symphony and Eastside Youth Concert Band. She was also selected to perform with the WMEA 2019 All State orchestra.
Furthermore, Emma enjoys playing piano, and had the opportunity to perform at the Seattle's Young Artist Music Festival at the University of Washington. In addition to music, she enjoys drawing, participating in various clubs at school, and hiking with her family and dog.
Emma is honored to be able to participate in the Pacific Honors Ensemble Program and is excited to strengthen her musical skills, meet new people, and create lasting memories.
Oregon City HS - Oregon
Jonah Buck is a 17-year old Junior at Oregon City High School in Oregon City, OR. He is principal baritone saxist in the school’s Honors Wind Ensemble and their Varsity Jazz Band, and participates heavily in their marching band, the Pioneer Scarlet Brigade. He designed the band’s Guardians of the Galaxy-themed field show for their homecoming game this past fall season. Jonah also keeps close tabs on the school’s music library—along with several other students as part of the “Librarian Team.”
Jonah takes private lessons on the saxophone and has for over five years. He has also played piano for over twelve years under private study, and enjoys playing weekly for his home church’s service for the worship leaders and choir.
He has placed at OSAA State Solo Festival both his freshman and sophomore years, and is diligently working on doing the same this year. Jonah has participated in WIBC and in the OMEA All-State honor bands both during his sophomore and junior years; Music in May at Pacific University his sophomore year; and recently performed with his OMEA District honor band as well.
Outside of school, Jonah is heavily involved in college-level classes at his high school. But, when he finds the time, he enjoys reading, spending time with friends (especially the before-mentioned “Librarian Team”), family, and his pug, as well as arranging saxophone group music and composing piano music.
Jonah is excited to be the first to ever represent his high school at the prestigious PHEP Honor Band exchange this coming fall.
Tahoma HS - Washington
Maya is 16 years old and currently an 11th grader at Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Washington. Maya has been playing oboe for 5 years and plays in her high school Wind Ensemble, outside of school she is a member of the Maple Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has attended oboe clinics at Washington State University, and the Western International Band Clinic.
Maya has also played in the Pacific Lutheran University Northwest High School Honor Band. In addition to oboe, Maya plays alto saxophone for her high school jazz and marching band. Outside of music, Maya enjoys running Cross Country for her school team and being involved in student leadership. She thanks her music director Matthew Cole, and private instructor Doug Ostgard, as well as her family for helping her reach her goals. She is grateful for the opportunity to attend the Pacific Honors Ensemble Program in Brisbane, Australia.
Cashmere HS - Washington
Michael is 16 years old and is class of 2020 at Cashmere High School, Washington. Living within the Wenatchee valley most of his life, he has been in concert band at Cashmere since 5th grade and jazz band since 7th grade. Michael mainly has been playing trumpet for the past 6 ½ years and started playing French horn a year ago near the second half of his sophomore year. He has performed in the orchestral pits for Cashmere’s musicals for the past 3 years and played trumpet at Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in 2017 and 2018. Michael has also attended Sarge Huber Honor Festival as a 7th and 11th grader and has been adjudicated at NCWMEA Solo and Ensemble contests 2015-2019. Michael has been a part of the Icicle Creek Summer Symphony Camp 2015-2018 as well as playing trumpet and French horn for the Icicle Creek Youth Symphony in Wenatchee since 2016. He was also 1st chair 2nd horn for Firebird at Western International Band Clinic in 2018. He is looking forward to WMEA All-State Symphony Orchestra in Portland this February.
While Michael is very passionate with French horn and trumpet, he loves to play other instruments such as the piano, guitar, bass guitar, and accordion. He also enjoys playing an assortment of fun instruments including recorder, harmonica, and kazoo—especially kazoo.
Michael is very honored to be a part of Pacific Honours Ensemble Program and is looking forward to making many great memories with other young aspiring musicians.
Churchill HS - Oregon
Finn is 17 years old and a junior at Churchill High School in Eugene, Oregon. He has been playing trumpet for about 5 years and has loved every minute of it. He is a member of his school’s wind ensemble, jazz band, pit orchestra, and pep bands, and he plans to pursue music in college in some way or another. Outside of trumpet, Finn enjoys swimming, sleeping and playing video games too much.
He is stoked to have the privilege to travel across the world with other excellent musicians and embark on this amazing journey!
Issaquah HS -Washington
Initially a violinist, and then a violist, Faith discovered her love of brass playing starting with trumpet and then adding French Horn. For two years she played lead trumpet in the Pacific Cascade Middle School jazz band and principal French Horn in the PCMS Advanced Band. She played horn in the Washington Jr. All-State band for two years, including serving as principal horn. She has enjoyed playing in both the WIBC Thunderbird and Firebird bands. Currently, she is a sophomore and plays principal horn in the Eastside Youth Concert Band and the Issaquah School District’s Evergreen Philharmonic. She loves anime and video game music, especially the Persona series.
Faith is thrilled to be part of the PHEP Australia exchange and cannot wait to see the Koalas!
West Albany HS - Oregon
Bailey Filley is a junior at West Albany High School, principal trombonist in Wind Ensemble and Jazz 1. She has attended All-State for the past four years, WIBC for the past 3, and a multitude of band camps every summer. She’s played trombone for six years, but recently took up tuba and clarinet as well.
She’s honored and excited to take part in PHEP and explore Australia, something she’s always wanted to do.
Colusa HS - California
Edgar Garcia is 16 years old and is a junior at Colusa High School in California. He has been playing saxophone for 5 years, now on his 6th. Edgar has traveled all around California to be a part of many honor bands and has also attended the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle 2 years. Edgar is also very active in school playing 3 sports throughout the school year while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He is honored to have the opportunity to be apart of the Pacific Honours Ensemble Program and hopes to take many new experiences and memories back with him.
Mountain View HS - Oregon
Nick is 17 years old and is currently a junior at Mountain View High School. He has been playing the saxophone for six years. Nick plays in both the Mountain View Wind Ensemble and the Mountain View Jazz Band II under the direction of David Hymans. He is also a member of the Cascade Winds Symphonic Band under the direction of Michael Gesme. Outside of school, Nick studies saxophone with Andy Warr. In addition to WIBC, Nick was selected for the COMEA District Honor Band, as well as the NAfME All-Northwest Band. Nick is planning to major in saxophone performance in college.
When Nick is not in school or playing his horn, he loves backpacking, kayaking, hiking, traveling, and hanging out with friends. Nick is extremely honored and grateful to be selected for the Pacific Honors Ensemble Program as a scholarship recipient, and he is very excited for the opportunity to travel to Australia.
Bellingham HS - Washington
Leigh Hjelmseth is 16 years old and a junior at Bellingham High School. She has been studying flute in the studio of David Zagelow for eight years. In those years she has played in school bands, sitting first chair flutist in Wind Ensemble and being drum major of the Marching band. In addition to school band, Leigh is principal flute of the North Sound Youth Symphony. She also plays the piccolo, violin, sings and plays piano. After high school, Leigh plans to pursue a career in music education. She is honored to be a part of the Pacific Honours Ensemble Program and is excited to travel abroad for the first time and to develop her musicianship.
Eastlake HS - Washington
Joshua is 16 and a junior at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, WA. Joshua first started playing Euphonium in 5th grade as part of Eastlake’s Elementary level band and hasn’t stopped since. He has been playing Euphonium for 7 years now and hopes to play much more as he pursues a music major in college.
Joshua is currently playing the Euphonium in Eastlake’s Wind Ensemble and the Eastside Youth Concert Band. He also plays the trombone in the school’s after-school jazz program and conducts the marching band and pep bands as an Assistant Drum Major. Joshua has performed in Junior and Senior All-State groups and the statewide Solo and Ensemble competition held at Central Washington University.
Joshua is honored and excited to perform with the Pacific Honors Ensemble Program and experiencing Australia. He is looking forward to the many amazing experiences and memories that come with being a part of this great program.
North Medford HS - Oregon
Ellie McGary, age 15 is a freshman at North Medford high school in Medford, Oregon. She has played French Horn for four years and participates in Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Band, the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon and takes private lessons. Outside of music, Ellie loves to go camping, hiking, spend time with family and play softball. She is very excited to take part in PHEP and to travel and meet new people!
Lindbergh HS - Washington
Rorie is a junior at Lindbergh High School. She has been playing the bassoon for 4 years and she plays in the Maple Valley Youth Symphony and Seattle Youth Symphony. Rorie was a member of the WMEA 2018 concert band and was selected to play in the NAFME 2019 orchestra. In addition to playing the bassoon, she is the drum major for her high school’s marching band, and she is the lead tenor saxophone in jazz band. Rorie is very excited to participate in PHEP and travel to Australia.
Summit HS - Texas
Donovan Neal is the principal bassoonist for the Summit High School Wind Symphony, where he is currently a junior there. During his six years of playing bassoon, Donovan has received local, state, national, and international recognition.
Donovan is a consistent all-region finalist and was the regional champion in 2015, 2017, and 2018, respectively. 2018 marks the 4th consecutive year of placing top fourth in the all-region auditions. Most recently, Donovan placed 2nd at the 5A Area in 2018, and advanced to the All-State level in 2019, where he was named the 2019 Texas Music Educators Association All-State Concert Band Champion for Bassoon. In the fall of 2019, Donovan performed at the 40th annual WIBC in Seattle, Washington where he served as principal bassoon in the Thunderbird band, where he was the only person from Texas in the band. He was also invited to perform at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival on stage with the National Honor Band of America in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2019. Donovan will also tour and perform with the Pacific Honors Ensemble Program in Sydney, Australia in 2019. He was additionally the only one from Texas.
He is also known for his contributions toward the Summit High School Wind Symphony, and the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. The Summit High School Wind Symphony performed at the 71st Annual Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois in 2017.
He has received “Outstanding Soloists” captions for five years in a row. In addition, the Summit/Lake Ridge High School Bassoon quartet was recently named an Outstanding Ensemble and will be featured at the Lake Ridge High School Spring Concert in May of 2019. The chapter of CTIS/SHS Band Directors selected Donovan Neal as their Outstanding Woodwind/Front Ensemble Member in 2014, 2016, and 2017. He currently serves as one of the Drum Majors for the Summit High School Marching Band.
Wilsonville HS - Oregon
Vincent Nguyen is a 16 year old 11th grader from Wilsonville Highschool. He has been playing clarinet for 6 years. He also plays violin and saxaphone. Along with performing, he also composes Jazz, Rock, and New Age, and participates in MYS.
Vincent has also performed with The Piano Guys. Along side music he runs cross country, track, and year round swimming+lifeguarding. He is currently training to be in his best shape for this trip
Summit HS - Oregon
Hannah Song is a junior at Summit High School and has played the flute since the fourth grade. She is the principal flute in the Summit Winds Ensemble and has played as first chair in District Honor Band and the Central Oregon Youth Orchestra. She has played with WIBC three times. She is also her district’s Solo Champion and has competed at the state level as well.
In addition to playing the flute, Hannah reads, swims, naps, and drinks large quantities of tea. She hopes to one day drown her sorrows in English Breakfast tea, as any proper American should do. She also enjoys stand-up comedy, especially the work of Trevor Noah, and writes deliciously repulsive poetry.
Hannah is delighted to travel to Australia.
Decatur HS - Washington
Cassidy is a 15 year old freshman at Decatur High School in Federal Way, Washington and has performed on tuba since the 6th grade.
Cassidy is the first-chair Tubist in his school’s wind ensemble and also plays the trombone in jazz band. He is the Principal Tubist in both the Tacoma Junior Youth Symphony and the Tacoma Young Artist Orchestra and was first chair Tubist in the Firebird band at the Western International Band Clinic for 2018. Cassidy has performed numerous solo performances through the University of Puget Sound’s community music program. For 2019 Cassidy was selected to perform with the NAFME All Northwest Honor Band in Portland, Oregon.
Cassidy is honored to be chosen as a part of the Pacific Honors Ensemble Program and looks forward to this fantastic international music experience and meeting new friends.
Mountain View HS - Oregon
Dylan is a 16-year old junior at Mountain View High School in Bend, Oregon. Dylan began playing the trombone in 5th grade, and hopes to continue performing for years to come after majoring in music after high school. In school he has performed with the wind ensemble, jazz band, school musical pit band, symphony, and pep band. He has been selected to play with Oregon All-State 2017, NAfME All-Northwest Concert Band in 2017 and All-Northwest Orchestra in 2019, NAfME All-National Concert Band in 2017, and the Western International Band Clinic Thunderbird and Firebird honor bands 2016-2018. Dylan was principal trombone with the Central Oregon Youth Orchestra from 2016-2018, and has played with the Central Oregon Symphony since 2017. He is part of the Central Oregon Community College Big Band, and performed at the Tower Theater in Bend for the Swingin’ Tower Christmas 2018 show. Dylan has taken lessons from Dan Flagg since late 2015; attended the Young Musicians and Artists Camp in Salem, Oregon for three years; and attended the Alessi Seminar for high school students in 2017.
Outside of band Dylan enjoys listening to sounds and discovering that different empty soft drink bottles are a perfect third, plays water polo for Mountain View, and enjoys downtime with his friends, dogs, and family.
Dylan is excited to participate in the Pacific Honours Ensemble Program in Brisbane, Australia and growing both personally and musically from the experience abroad (even though his thick American accent may be hard to understand).
Graham-Kapowsin HS - Washington
Edward is 17 years old and a Junior at Graham Kapowsin High School in Graham, WA. He started his music career 6 years ago, playing a variety of instruments. He started playing the euphonium 4 years ago at the encouragement of his band instructor. Upon entering high school, he joined the Wind Ensemble and has had the opportunity to travel to Japan and play with the Tamana All-Girls High School Band. Edward has competed at both Regional and State level in the Solo and Ensemble competitions at Central Washington University. He also plays Bass Trombone in Jazz 1 and is a Drum Major and leader in his band. Edward spends time not only playing music, but composing pieces. He plans to pursue a career in music.
When not playing or composing music, Edward enjoys playing basketball, spending time with his friends and traveling. Edward is grateful for the opportunities and encouragement that he receives from his family and knows that this is where his strength comes from. He is very honored to be able to travel to Australia and be a part of this experience.