By: Mallory Bruno

Often, throughout your high school career, there is something that inspires you that may help you get through the stressful amounts of homework, tests, and projects. This is different for everyone but for two very talented students,  Mark Tully 16’ and Ben Fitzpatrick 16’, music allows them to experience the world differently.

Tully is an incredibly talented vocalist and Fitzpatrick plays the saxophone. Both young men recently participated in an extremely selective audition process for the National Association for Music Education National All-National Honor Ensemble.

There are three stages to the audition process and as participants progress through each stage, they audition against some of the most talented students in the country.

After a four day conference and rehearsing with the ensemble, their talent is showcased.The All-National Honor Ensemble is made up of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir and jazz ensemble. Tully performed in the mixed choir, whereas Fitzpatrick played in the jazz band. Traditionally, Tully explained that he “listens to a lot of rock and metal type bands but loves choir music and also classical.”

The goal of the National Association for Music Education is to encourage students to learn and practice music in schools, which Bethel High School does not get enough credit for. Having music in schools and appreciating the arts is extremely important, and Nationals is just a way for people to understand how educators can impact the lives of their students through music education. Not only do they learn from the teachers but students learn from each other, too.

Tully commented that, “Ben got me to appreciate jazz music, but I can’t say I had the same effect on him with my music.”

On top of that, Fitzpatrick was even chosen to perform at the Grammys in February! Congratulations and good luck!