Milford Band Students at the All National Ensemble


Noah Held

The Best Musicians in the Country: Band students pose with their instrument before playing in the All National Ensemble, November 7, 2022.

          For the first time in the history of Milford, band students from Foran and Jonathan Law High School made it to the National Association for the Music Education All National Concert Band. Outside of Washington, D.C., these students rehearsed and performed in the All National Ensemble. 

          Senior Noah Held represented Foran at All-Nationals. Held made All-State band as a junior and was invited to an online audition, where he had to learn a new piece of music and submit a recording.

          Held states, “I think my passion for music drove me to get better and push myself to take advantage of this opportunity and pursue it.”

          Although Held believes the audition process and preparation was difficult, his motivation to be a better musician kept him from giving up.

          Every musician that participated in the All National Ensemble practiced together to prepare for a concert with the best band students. 

          Held states, “I think the last note we played in the concert was the most memorable, it was probably my whole favorite sequence in the concert itself, it was just really loud and sounded very good.”

          Coming back home to Milford, Held was on the Foran announcements for making it to nationals and has been praised by both peers and teachers for his accomplishment.

          Foran band teacher Ms. Jessica Turner states, “I’ve had Noah as a student for four years. By working closely with him for so long, not only seeing him be accepted into the ensemble but to also be able to listen to the concert was incredible.”

          Aside from Foran, Chris Rickard, a junior from Jonathan Law, made it to All State last year as a sophomore and eventually made his way to the All National Ensemble.

          Rickard states, “Coming back to the band, now that I have this new view of understanding music education I want to become a type of music educator to the Law band and be a role model or leader to them.”

          He also claimed that when he was around people of such a high level in band, he felt more motivated to become a better musician and learned a lot about music. With this knowledge, Rickard is able to show his peers what he learned.

          The music community at Milford benefits from Rickard and Held sharing their experiences at Nationals.

Milford Band Students at Nationals: Chris Rickard and Noah Held pose with their instruments, November 4, 2022. (Chris Rickard)

        Turner states, “Any time a student makes an honors ensemble they then bring their experience back to their home ensemble and raise the level of musicianship not just for themselves but for their peers.”