From left, THS band members Taylor Drake, Emma Fell, Ashton Bowles, Sam Ardovino and Mytchell Walker recently participated in the Honor Band of America in Indianapolis. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)
From left, THS band members Taylor Drake, Emma Fell, Ashton Bowles, Sam Ardovino and Mytchell Walker recently participated in the Honor Band of America in Indianapolis. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Archived Story

THS musicians among the best in the country

Published 2:46pm Tuesday, March 11, 2014

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

For Thompson High School French horn player Taylor Drake, playing under the direction of director Eugene Migliaro Corporon in Indianapolis was a surreal experience.

“You start to realize the scope of your accomplishment,” Drake said during a March 11 interview at THS. “Even if you aren’t named first chair, you are still among the best in the country.”

Drake and fellow THS band members Emma Fell, Ashton Bowles, Sam Ardovino and Mytchell Walker recently returned from Indianapolis, where they performed in the Honor Band of America with students from across the nation.

During the Honor Band, Bowles was selected as principal tuba player and Walker was selected as principal bass trombone player. Bowles also earned the $1,000 Revelli Scholarship awarded to an Honor Band senior who intends to study music performance or music education and pursue a career as a music educator.

After the five THS students submitted DVD recordings of themselves performing in the fall of 2013, they were notified they had been selected for the Honor Band in December.

“I couldn’t believe it when my mom told me,” Fell said with a laugh, noting about 100 students from across the country were selected for the Honor Band.

When they arrived in Indianapolis on March 5, the students auditioned for chair placement for their respective instruments. Then, the practices started.

“We had a whole bunch of music to learn,” Ardovino said.

“When they gave us our schedule, it was practice, eat and sleep,” Fell added.

In only a few days, the Honor Band learned songs such as “The Frozen Cathedral” by John Mackey, “Lost Vegas” by Michael Daugherty and “Everything Beautiful” by Sam Hazo. On March 8, the band then performed a concert for a sold-out crowd in Indianapolis.

“You are working under one of the best conductors in the world,” Walker said.

“You earn a greater respect for music in general by doing something like that,” Ardovino added.

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