My name is Elizabeth Schellhase and I was in the PCMB from 2001-2004 (Class of 2005). I was in the Mellophone section for the first two years and Drum Major for the last two. I was also Principal Horn of the Wind Ensemble for all four years. After graduation from Salem High School, I moved to Texas, where I graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance in 2009 and worked as the Acting Fourth Horn for the Houston Symphony during their 2008-2009 season. Currently, I'm in graduate school at The Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles, but soon I'll be leaving my graduate program and relocating again! In less than a moDrum Major Elizabeth Schellhasenth, I'll be proud to call Kansas City home as I recently won a job playing 2nd horn in the Kansas City Symphony. For those of you who don't know what winning a professional music job entails, it involves months of preparation on a list of around 20 excerpts from the orchestral literature that really showcase every single skill you need to know (tone, rhythm, musicality, intonation, technique, range, etc.). Then you travel to the location of the orchestra audition and play rounds of these excerpts behind a screen along with everyone else who is invited to audition. During these rounds, they slowly narrow down the number of people until they choose a winner, who receives a contract offer from the orchestra.

I learned a lot from being in the band that really helped me in preparing for a professional career in music. I don't think that the discipline and work ethic that I learned in the PCMB could have been learned anywhere else. I found that the best way to make truly great music is building great relationships with your peers in the ensemble to a point where you can express your soul with no fear. That is truly great music-making.

My advice for you going to State's and Nationals for the first time (and those going to their last!), is to really enjoy every single moment. In five years, you're not going to remember if you missed a step, what your score was, or anything but how you loved and miss the experience. There is nothing quite like it...the high of performing is one of the experiences that inspired me to become a professional musician...something that is incredibly difficult to do. No performance will ever be perfect because none of us are, but something I can tell you is that I would rather see an imperfect show with lots of heart than a perfect show with none. If you can perform like this, you can look back in five years without regrets, because you truly did give every bit of yourself to the show and to the band. The memories you make now will last a lifetime...what I miss the most is performing at Nationals! Enjoy