Riverside senior plays with FFA band at Nationals

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Daniel Willis, Riverside senior, performs with National FFA Band.

Riverside High School senior Daniel Willis was honored to be chosen as part of the National FFA Band performing at the 2013 National Convention held in Louisville, Ky. The convention was held Oct. 30 -- Nov. 2.

Daniel is the son of Harvey and Lisa Willis and he has been in band for six years. He plays the French horn and trumpet.

It is a process to be selected for the FFA National Band. One of the requirements is to be a member of FFA. Applicants have to fill out information forms and submit an audition tape to the National FFA selection team. Being a band member is not a requirement but Daniel said he is sure it helps to have the experience of playing in a high school band.

The finalists are chosen from hundreds of auditions and a little over 80 members are chosen.

It was a great experience for Daniel to be part of the National Band. The band practiced 28 hours in a four day span but had very little time for individual practice time. Band members arrived ahead of the convention time and started preparing.

Some of the pieces the band played included Choreography, Emperata Overture, an arrangement of pieces from James Bond, The Beatles, Rock and Roll (a salute to Dick Clark), Armed Forces Salute and more.

"It was an amazing experience and I feel so honored to have been able to work with other great musicians," Daniel said.

This was Daniel's first trip to the National FFA Convention. It was a great experience and to be able to play to an audience of 50,000 plus was an experience of a lifetime.

Daniel enjoys a variety of music but his favorite is classical. If he had to choose his favorite piece of music it would probably be Second Suite in F for Military Band by Gustov Holst.

Daniel plans to continue band during college.

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