Keith student selected to play in national ensemble

Jacob Jang

Staff Report

Keith Country Day School junior Jacob Jang is a rare musical talent, and this month he will be able to share his gift by playing the bassoon at the 2012 Music for All Festival in the Honor Band of America.

Selected from hundreds of applicants, Jang will join music students from 23 other states in a national ensemble that will perform at the Music for All National Festival at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 17, on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis. The honor band will be conducted by Col. Lowell Graham, chairman of the Music Department and director of the orchestra at the University of Texas at El Paso.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend,” Jang said. “It’s a great opportunity to play with some fantastic musicians from across the state. I’m sure it will be a great experience for me.”

Martin McDaniel, band director at Keith Country Day School said: “Jacob is a natural talent. The bassoon is a very difficult instrument to play, and he makes it look easy.”

A member of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO), Jang’s selection caps off a very successful year for him. In the winter, he was chosen to be a member of the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Honors Band, and last week he earned a perfect score and a Division I rating at the Illinois High School Association Solo and Ensemble Competition.

In addition to playing principal bassoon for RSYO, Jang is also a member of the RSYO Honors Chamber Orchestra and Woodwind Quintet. In April, he will perform with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra in their Side-by-Side Concert, and this summer he plans to play again with the Rockford Wind Ensemble’s outdoor concert series.

Although the highlight of the weekend will surely be performing, Jang will also have a unique opportunity at the festival to participate in master classes taught by some of the best music instructors in the world.

To be selected for membership in this elite national ensemble is a great achievement and honor,” said Eric Martin, Music for All President and CEO.

Keith Country Day School is an independent, nonsectarian, college-preparatory school. More about Keith School is available at

From the March 14-20, 2012, issue

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