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United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Five High School Musician Finalists Vie for Honor of Winning Marine Band’s Concerto

By Master Sgt. Kristin duBois | United States Marine Band | February 12, 2019

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The Marine Band will host its annual recital for the five finalists of the 2018-19 Concerto Competition for High School Musicians at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 at the John Philip Sousa Band Hall in Washington, D.C. The performance is free, no tickets are required, and will be streamed live at www.marineband.marines.mil and www.youtube.com/usmarineband.

The finalists will perform their concertos before a panel of judges consisting of Marine Band Director Col. Jason K. Fettig, Assistant Directors Capt. Ryan J. Nowlin and Capt. Bryan P. Sherlock, and guest adjudicator Dr. Patricia Cornett from Temple University in Philadelphia. Cornett is the Director of Bands at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance where she conducts the Wind Symphony and teaches advanced conducting. Prior to joining the faculty at Temple, she was the Director of Bands at California State University Fullerton where she conducted the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Winds, and taught courses in conducting and music education. She is published in the “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band” series, the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Journal, and has presented sessions at national CBDNA conferences, as well as numerous state conferences. She is a member of CBDNA, the Conductors Guild, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education.

One hundred and fourteen entries were whittled down to just five final contestants for this year’s competition. The winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship and the runner-up will receive a $500 scholarship, both from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.

Let’s meet the musicians:

Percussionist Joseph Batterman is a sophomore at Arrowhead High School in Harland, Wis. He is a member of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras’ (WYSO) Youth Orchestra and performed with the WYSO’s Concert Orchestra in 2016-17 and Philharmonia Orchestra in 2017-18. He has also performed with the WYSO’s Percussion Ensemble from 2016-present. Joseph has participated in the Wisconsin School of Music Association’s (WSMA) Solo Ensemble, earning “I Superiors” at both regional and state levels for Class A Solo snare drum and Class A Solo marimba in 2018; “I Superiors” for Class A Solo drum set and Class A Ensemble in 2016; “I Superiors” for Class A Solo drum Set and Class B Ensemble in 2015; and “I Superiors” for Class A Solo snare drum and Class B Solo drum set in 2014. Joseph also won WSMA’s Exemplary Award for Marimba Solo at the State Competition in 2018 and is the recipient of the Thomas Buchhauser Tuition Scholarship in 2018.

Euphonium player Peyton Sills is a senior at Madison Central High School in Madison, Miss. He has been a member of the Mississippi Lions All-State Band in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. In 2018 he was selected as an alternate for the Leonard Falcone Festival in the student division. In addition, Peyton received the most outstanding musician award from performing with the Mississippi Bandmasters Association All-State Concert Band.

Bassoon player Donald Schweikert is a senior at Sayville High School in West Sayville, N.Y. He performed in the John Philip Sousa National High School Honors Band and the New York All-State Wind Ensemble, both in 2018.

Clarinet player Krystal Wu is a freshman at Centennial High School in Ellicott City, Md. She is a member of the Howard County High School Gifted and Talented Symphony Orchestra. Over the past three years, Krystal has been selected by the Howard County Middle School Gifted and Talented Band, Maryland All-State Junior Band, Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the New Life Foundation Orchestra. She received superior ratings at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Howard County and Maryland State Solo and Ensemble Festivals and Honorable Mention in the 2017 and 2018 Young Artist Award Competition organized by City of Gaithersburg, Md., and the 2018 Music Teachers National Association Woodwind Junior Performance Competition. She placed third in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Asian American Music Society International Competitions and in 2018 she placed first in the Young Musicians Inspiring Change Metropolitan Music Festival, the Washington National Youth Music Competition, and the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association Achievement Awards. In May 2019, she will perform as the winner of the 2019 Columbia Orchestra Young Artist Competition.

Flute player Israel Perez is a senior at South Salem High School in Salem, Ore. He has performed in the Salem-Keizer All-City Honor Band from 2013-19, with the 2019 National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) All-Northwest Orchestra, was second flute in the 2017 Oregon All-State Orchestra, and first flute in the 2018 Oregon All-State Orchestra. He won the Salem Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, placed third at the Oregon Music Educators Association District Solo Competition, placed second at the 2018 State Solo Competition, placed third in the 2018 Vernon L. Wiscarson Young Musicians’ Competition, and was also recently named Honorable Mention at the Oregon Music Teacher National Association’s Senior Woodwind Competition.

The John Philip Sousa Band Hall is located at 1053 7th Street in southeast Washington, D.C. Free parking is available in the lot under the overpass on 7th Street. Patrons should arrive early to allow extra time for ID checks at the gate.

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