Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

MOLLIE MCDOUGALL

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Mollie McDougall plays the French Horn and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2005. She is a Band and Orchestra Director and lives in Evanston, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? Syracuse, NY – my grandmother used to play piano and everyone would stand around and sing – I wanted in on the action and started playing piano when I was 6 and horn when I was 10.

What do you enjoy most about playing? I love making music with others and finding what the greater group can create together. I love my friends in the band that support me and l love learning from them and passing on what I learn to my students.

Do you have a favorite musical memoryPlaying chamber music at Sarasota Chamber Music Festival with musicians from all over the world.

What are your musical influences? Gail Williams, Greg Miller

Who was your most influential music teacher? My high school band director, Andrew Perry

Does anyone in your family play music? My sister is a singer and violinist, my grandmother was a pianist and a great music appreciator.

What’s on your iPod? EVERYTHING – U2, Jazz, Rachimoninoff, Mahler, Bach, Beatles, Death Cab for Cutie, middle school band music….

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Stick with it! It gets more and more rewarding and fun!

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Amazing leadership, musicianship and friendship

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Inspiring, motivating, engaging

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  I teach middle school band and orchestra in Highland Park and have twin 3 year olds and a golden doodle.

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

JASON BEAUMONT

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Jason Beaumont plays the French Horn and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2014. He is a Filmmaker/Video Producer and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started playing horn in high school when the marching band didn’t have enough horns and too many saxophones, which is the instrument I started on.

What do you enjoy most about playing? I love being a part of an ensemble and kind of syncing up, so to speak, with others in a way that only music provides.

Do you have a favorite musical memoryIn college, I got to play in a pit orchestra for The Secret Garden and I was the only student playing with the faculty brass. I felt like a big shot.

What are your musical influences? Aside from the big composers of the last few centuries, I have always felt a huge connection with the great movie scores of John Williams and James Horner. And as a filmmaker now, that would explain why I’m always trying to shoehorn (pun very much intended) my horn playing into the indie films I’m shooting.

Who was your most influential music teacher? My high school band director, Ron Curtis. He was so supportive, gave great life advice, and someone I considered a great friend.

Does anyone in your family play music? My sister played flute in high school, but I think I’m the only one who regularly leaves the house in a tux.

What’s on your iPod? Let’s just say that it’s a weird enough array of music that a thief would probably return it just to see what kind of person I must be.

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Keep at it and it will always bring you joy and a nice stress reliever. You don’t have to go pro to play in very talented groups, as this non-pro horn performance degreed person will tell you. Also, don’t get a performance degree.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? The NCB has both a great dedication to high musicianship and education outreach that I don’t see in many groups. It’s inspiring and makes me work hard.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Artistic. Prolific. Terrific.

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  Remember, it’s not spit that we French horn and other brass players are dumping out all through a concert, its condensate lung water. Big difference.

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

LAUREN WHISNANT

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Lauren Whisnant plays the French Horn and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2014. She is a Music Teacher and lives in Glendale Heights, Illinois. Lauren is also the business manager for Northshore Concert Band.

When and why did you start playing? I started band in 7th grade, but I was originally a clarinet and later oboe player. I finally started learning horn after playing mellophone in marching band (we needed more, I couldn’t play oboe in marching band, so I volunteered!). While I still play oboe from time to time, I definitely identify as a horn player. It fits my personality perfectly!

What do you enjoy most about playing? I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from practicing something difficult & finally mastering it. I also love the camaraderie of playing in an ensemble with other people.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  It’s definitely hard to pick a single memory, but I’d have to say my first Rush concert was definitely memorable. It was incredible – those guys rock!

What are your musical influences? I’m a big classic rock fan, and two of my favorite musicians are Geddy Lee & Neil Peart from Rush. I try to see the Chicago Symphony as much as possible – they keep my ears “fresh”!

Who was your most influential music teacher? Dr. Scott Tobias, currently the Director of Bands at the University of Central Florida. He was the Associate Director of Bands at Appalachian State University when I completed by undergrad degree & taught at a summer camp I attended in high school. After one week of being in his ensemble, I knew I wanted to be a music teacher – he made it look fun! Later on he became & continues to be one of my most influential mentors.

Does anyone in your family play music? Yes, my dad sings & plays electric bass in his church’s praise & worship band.

What’s on your iPod? Right now I have a very weird collection of music from different genres that are at certain tempos to use while running. Everything is between 160 & 176 b.p.m., because those are the paces I’m working on. Everything from rock to movie soundtracks to punk to classical – it’s eclectic, but it works!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Keep at it, and keep your mind open. My first music career goal was to be a professional oboist that would play for movie soundtracks. Now I’m a high school band director in a place I never thought I would live, and I LOVE it! Life is funny that way!

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? The level of performance is astounding, and it makes me constantly work to become a better musician. I love coming to rehearsals & being inspired by something that’s either said by Dr. Thompson or when I hear someone play a phrase in a way that was different than how I interpreted it.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Passionate, inspiring, awesome!

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

JENNIFER YOUNG

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Jennifer Young plays the French Horn and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2007. She is a University administrator and lives in Evanston, Illinois. Jennifer is also Northshore Concert Band’s secretary.

When and why did you start playing? My three older brothers played brass instruments but none of them played French horn.

What do you enjoy most about playing? Collaborating with my friends to make music. I respect them and enjoy them so much.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  My graduate recital. It remains my proudest accomplishment ever.

What are your musical influences? I have diverse taste in music – from musical theater to 80s hairbands to rap/hip hop – I love everything!

Who was your most influential music teacher? Earle Dickinson – my high school band director

Does anyone in your family play music? My three older brothers are musicians.

What’s on your iPod? Everything!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Practice!

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different from performing with other groups? We come to rehearsal and perform because we want to – we’re volunteering our time to be there. It’s unusual to produce such a high quality in a volunteer group. It’s a closeknit group, too – when my dad passed away earlier this year I was completely blown away by the support I received from everyone. It meant so much to me.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Musical Fun Family

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  I marched in the Rose Bowl parade when I was 18. A once in a lifetime experience!

***Jennifer’s picture was taken at Wrigley Field last fall when the Chicago Cubs clinched the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!