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: Grace Morris

Hometown: Bloomington, IL

Why did you apply to be a member of the Honor Band?

My tutor told me about the open spots for trumpet. Auditions have been difficult for State or Solo and Ensemble but that hasn’t stopped me. I knew this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and didn’t want to let it pass me by.

What part of the trip are you most excited about?

I honestly don’t know! There’s just so much to look forward to. I remember being chosen to perform at UGA for a festival back in Junior High and that was so exciting! Learning the new music, meeting new people, all the sights! I can’t really choose a favorite.

What are three things you’ve learned from being involved in your high school music program?

1.) Mistakes are okay! They give opportunities for growth and new learning. Just be confident in yourself regardless. We can fix a confident mistake, but hiding away in other people’s sound won’t help anyone.

2.) I’ve learned about being a part of something greater than myself. This is especially true in Marching Band, just the sheer power of coming together to perform and create something for others is magical.

3.) Music is emotion. The technical properties will always be important but ultimately music is about sharing your emotions with others, encapsulating them, and expressing them in a way words could never even begin to. People are drawn to the arts because they want to feel, and music is no different.

To date, what is your favorite memory of being involved in your high school band program?

It would probably have to be my very first halftime show freshman year. We were already so amped up in the stands during the first half of the game, being fully decked out in our uniforms and playing the pep band tunes for everyone. We ran out onto the field for our first set (kind of a scatter thing instead of a pre-show march). 5 movements but we only had the first one ready by the first game. Our prop was a gigantic volcano, going with our Volcano theme. The tune was a combination of island tunes and Jimmy Buffet’s song Volcano (of course) and we were off. There was adrenaline and yelling and music, silks and rifles flying all over the place. I don’t think I had ever felt so alive. Halfway through the volcano “erupted” with the sound effects and our smoke machines as we got to the biggest part and the crowd. Went. Crazy. Yelling and cheering so much I almost stopped playing because I was smiling so much. We finished and to see this huge group of people cheering and jumping for us, after the blood (a fun band camp story), toil, sweat, and tears it took to put it together was an incredible feeling. Maybe two minutes at the most, but it changed my life and became one of my most treasured memories.

What activities and clubs are you involved in?

School-wise I’ve got Marching Band and that takes up a lot of time with being on the leadership team I’ll hopefully have Jazz Band later.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I honestly have no clue. Ideally, it would involve art or some sort of music? I love writing, animation, and drawing. Music is also a huge part of my life too, maybe even something in education like some other family members.

Tell us something unique about yourself.

I like owls? Cartoons? This is my first year living in Illinois? I’m originally from Georgia.

List your favorites!

Song or piece of music: Playing-wise probably It’s Been a Long, Long, Time by Harry James? I just love the feel of it, but that fluctuates from time to time. Listening wise it’s like trying to pick a favorite child.

Band, Artist, Musical Group, etc.: I really like the Crane Wives right now? But I’m a fan of lots of bands.

Movie: Very very hard question. It changes all the time, but I like superhero movies a bunch? Marvel Movies, and the Incredibles has always been a favorite of mine.

TV Show: I can’t pick! I love fantasy cartoons though

Book: Also fantasy genre stuff, but favorites are impossible to choose.

Board Game: Parchisi, I would play with my aunt when I was little all the time.

Dessert: Chocolate ice cream?

Place to visit: Back home in Georgia, grandparents houses down south or aunt’s house in Atlanta, or anywhere really,  it’s home.

You’re on a deserted island and you can only choose one from each category:

Dessert: Ice Cream

Entertainment: Reading books

Social Media: TikTok