Making Hawthorne High School History


Lauren, Nikki, and Dan

Great things are happening in the music department here at Hawthorne High School. Ambitious students in our music program auditioned for New Jersey’s region band on January 6, and three were selected to participate because of their hard work, dedication, and talent. The audition process included an assessment of their ability to play any of the twelve major scales, a solo piece, and a sight reading piece. These students include Nikki Schuldt, Lauren Estes, and Daniel Farnum. Nikki was selected as first chair alto clarinet, Daniel was selected as second chair mallets and second chair traps percussion, and Lauren was selected as eighth chair flute. This past year, Nikki had been accepted into the symphonic band as first chair alto clarinet; so to achieve that position again in the wind ensemble was a huge honor. Nikki, Lauren, and Dan are going to continue music in their designated colleges and they are eligible for numerous scholarships because of this honor. We are very fortunate to have a music program that has enabled them to prosper and become the musicians they are.

These students had rehearsals for the entire month of January and then performed in a concert on Sunday, January 28 at Parsippany High School. The concert was a wonderful experience for the students playing and the members of the audience. The Clarion had an opportunity to talk to these three students and hear how they felt about the audition process, their acceptance, and rehearsals/performing with such a prestigious band.


Clarion Reporter: Going back to the day of auditions, what was running through your mind?

Nikki: On the day of auditions my mind was focused on my piece and what I wanted to accomplish. I was set on remaining first chair and improving my score from last year.

Dan: I was thinking about what I had to do when I walked into the audition room, and I was hoping for the best for my friends who were also auditioning.

Lauren: I was extremely nervous because it was my last chance to get into region band. The chances for me getting in were really small because of how many flutes auditioned (75). So I was really stressed about it.


Clarion Reporter: What was your initial reaction to discovering you had been accepted?

Nikki: My initial reaction to finding out I got into the wind ensemble was anticipation and relief. I couldn’t wait to start practice and get going, and the relief of knowing I achieved my goal was amazing.

Dan: I wasn’t surprised. I was confident enough in my abilities and I felt good enough about my auditions that I couldn’t see myself not making it. But it was still a big deal for me and I was overjoyed

Lauren: I was shocked. I had never gotten in before so I was preparing myself for bad news. When I found out I got in I was ecstatic.


Clarion Reporter: How would you describe the rehearsal process in region band and how is it different a high school band?

Nikki: The rehearsal process for wind ensemble is nothing I had ever experienced before. It was even completely different from my symphonic band experience last year. It’s ten times longer, more strenuous, and tiring than a high school rehearsal, but it’s also 10 times more fulfilling as a musician.

Dan: It’s a completely different and more professional environment.

Lauren: Region band rehearsals are much more fast-paced than our high school band rehearsals. We had three rehearsals in one week, leading up to our concert on the Sunday after. We moved through everything really quickly, and instead of working on notes and rhythms, like in our high school band, we worked on expression and dynamics. It was a great experience.


We also had the opportunity to ask Mr. Williams about his thoughts on his student’s accomplishments.

Mr. Williams: I am incredibly proud of what Lauren, Nikki, and Dan have achieved.  Before Nikki was accepted into Region Band last year, it had been a long time since a Hawthorne student had made it into these ensembles.  They have worked very hard to get this far and it’s great to see what they are accomplishing out there.  Whenever students participate in these activities the knowledge they gain feeds back into our music program to help us grow and inspire the next set of students.  The Region concert was excellent, and I’m looking forward to seeing the All State concert later this month and hearing all of the stories from their experiences.


Additionally, these students auditioned for All State Band, where if selected, they would play with the best high school musicians in the entire state of New Jersey. Daniel Farnum successfully auditioned and was accepted, making Hawthorne High School history as being one of the first students to be accepted in at least 10 years. Come to support Daniel and the All State Band on Saturday, February 24 at 3 p.m., at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. If you have any questions about purchasing tickets you can contact Mr. Williams. Go bears!