Music for All’s Bands of America Honor Band will march in The Rose Parade on New Year’s Day 2022 in Pasadena, California. With more than 300 members, this national honor band will represent school band programs across America. Meet the members!
Name: Sarah Stamer
Hometown: Flagstaff, AZ
Why did you apply to be a member of the Honor Band?
I applied because I heard about the Honor Band at a music convention I went to with my family (my parents are music educators). Thinking about the worst and best that could happen, I auditioned on two separate drumline instruments to increase my chances. I learned about the opportunity over two years ago, and a year later, at that same convention, I was told I made it into the Honor Band!
What part of the trip are you most excited about?
I’m excited to see how we bond as a band over our time together in Pasadena. I’ve done quite a few honor ensembles where the music comes together in short time frames, but none of the honor bands had a final performance on national television after less than a week! Besides that, I’m excited for Disney, the Griffith Observatory (since I’m an astronomy major), and to watch all the East Coast kids eat their first In-N-Out
What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in your high school music program?
One – discipline. Whether it’s staying set for those extra minutes while the judges make sure they’re ready, spending those extra hours in the practice room now, or picking out those micro-details that aren’t perfect in your playing, discipline is crucial to success. Two – how to work in a team. It doesn’t matter if you have that coveted section leader role or are on leadership, everyone matters in an ensemble. Supporting everyone and building everyone up is the only way to get better. Three – pride. I’m proud to have been a Coconino Panther, and most of that pride comes from my time in the band. Every time I put on that uniform or wore that name tag with my school’s name on it at honor ensembles, I did so proudly.
To date, what is your favorite memory of being involved in your high school music program?
I have many favorite memories of high school band, but one of my personal favorites was during my junior year. I was working on a project in my engineering class when I saw my band director walk into the room. He talks to my teacher for a bit, then approaches me as I build something with pipes. He tells me that I was the only one from my school to make it into All-State and that he was extremely proud of me. This was my second All-State ensemble, and to find out like that made the whole experience that much more memorable.
What activities and clubs are you involved in?
In high school, I was in National Honor Society, the marching band, concert band, percussion ensemble, and (occasionally) the full orchestra, a youth leadership development program, AP Ambassadors, and my school district’s Student Advisory Committee. Now, in university, I’m part of the Astronomy Club, a church group, Honors College Ambassadors, a faculty award committee sponsored by the Honors College, and the Symphonic Band.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I’ve already graduated from high school, and I’m currently in my first year at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ, double-majoring in Astronomy and Physics. After university, I haven’t thought a lot about post-graduation plans. I’m thinking about either getting my Ph.D. in science education or astrophysics or getting started in work relating to science communication and public outreach.
Have you participated in any Music for All or Bands of America activities before? If so, which ones?
I volunteered at the BOA Arizona Regional in 2019 by selling programs.
Tell us something unique about yourself:
I was a three-time school spelling bee champion in elementary and middle school, even making it to 4th place in the county one year.
List your favorites!
Song or piece of music: Bookmarks from Japan – Julie Giroux
Band, artist, musical group, etc.: Jacob Collier, Taylor Swift, and Pentatonix
Movie: Star Wars Episode IV
TV Show: Cosmos – Carl Sagan
Board game: One Night Ultimate Alien
Place to visit: Alberta, CA
You’re on a deserted island and you can only choose one from each category:
Dessert: Ice Cream
Entertainment: Reading Books
Social Media: Instagram
See Sarah in action! If you’ve ever wanted to be there in person for The Rose Parade and the excitement that surrounds it, the BOA VIP Rose Experience is for you! Learn more at marching.musicforall.org/rose/vip.