Band Director, Ms. Engel, Heading to Brazil


Ms. Hillary Engel, SHS Band Director

Taylor Gaines, Staff Writer

Ms. Engel, Sahuaro band director and band teacher, is playing with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (SASO) at an orchestra festival in Gramado, Brazil. Ms. Engel has been with the group for 4 years and got started when a friend recommended her. She said it was an easy process. The group will perform two concerts at the Gramado in Concert International Music Festival with a local Brazilian orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Rio Grande do Norte and other Brazilian musicians.

Asking her what she will play in the performance, her response blew my mind. “Ill be playing everything from snare drum, to crash cymbals, triangles to marimbas, and anything and everything in between.” SASO will be playing at the festival due to it being a creation by their music director, Linus Lerner. Lerner conducts both SASO and the Brazilian orchestra they will be performing along side with.

Ms. Engel also just received, in December, her Masters in Percussion Performance. She exclaims, “The entire process leading up to the degree was extremely hard, extremely tiring, and entirely worth it. If I hadn’t pushed myself to get this degree, I most likely wouldn’t be going to Brazil, wouldn’t have gone to China, and wouldn’t have lived and worked in Africa. This degree was the culmination of every decision in my past, every extra hour I put in the practice room, every extra-proof- read of a paper I barely finished in time.” Just goes to show when you set your mind to something, no matter how hard it is or how much you have on your plate, you can accomplish it.

Good luck in Brazil Ms. Engel.  You will do great, and congratulations on your masters degree.