Honor Band of America selects Vandeberg
MADISON – Grey Vandeberg, member of Bob Jones High School Band, has qualified to perform with Honor Band of America. He is the first musician from Madison ever to succeed in the highly competitive process.
Vandeberg, a 17-year-old junior, plays baritone saxophone.
After starting with alto saxophone in seventh grade, he soon switched to baritone saxophone, which he played better and was motivated to practice more.
Vandeberg credits Bob Jones directors Leigh Thomas, Kevin Smart and Doyle Thornton (now retired) for “cultivating a passion for music by instilling a drive that has pushed me to be the best musician possible. Ms. Thomas has pushed me … and been my true motivator,” he said.
To audition for Honor Band of America, Vandeberg submitted a performance video of first movement of Bach’s “Cello Suite No. 1 in G” and Eugene Bozza’s “Improvisation et Caprice.” College and conservatory judges, affiliated with event sponsor Music For All, wrote critiques for thousands of applicants.
In the 100-member band, Vandeberg is the only bari sax. In March, he will travel to Indianapolis for rehearsals, master classes and private instruction for four days. The band will perform for Music For All’s National Festival.
“Frankly, my auditioning came on a whim after listening to their 2011 performance,” he said. Vandeberg used invaluable critiques for his 2015 audition to succeed in 2016.
“I was nothing short of amazed,” he said. “I’m very humbled to be accepted into such a prestigious ensemble as a junior.”
At Bob Jones, he participates in wind ensemble, both jazz bands and marching band; Debate Team; Science Bowl; Model UN; and several honor societies. He’s an officer for Social Studies and Tri-M societies.
Vandeberg was selected for 2017 All State Jazz Gold Band, first chair in University of Alabama in Huntsville Honor Band and 2016 All State Band. He sat first chair with Auburn Honor Band and played in District 1 Honor Band three years.
Vandeberg encourages elementary students to sign up for sixth-grade honor band. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to give band a shot. We’re blessed with fantastic band programs at Discovery and Liberty. (Band) can be life-changing,” he said.
His father and stepmother are Kevin and Jodi Vandeberg. “We’ve lived here for the fantastic school system and opportunities afforded to my brother and me all of our lives,” Grey said.
His first choice in college is Vanderbilt University. He plans to double-major in music and biomedical engineering or biochemistry/molecular biology.