Senior Spotlights - Class of 2019

Ming Zhang

The first senior is Ming Zhang, a bells player in the drumline!

Ming hails from Shenzhen, China and is majoring in Computer Science and Linguistics. After graduation, he will be moving to Pittsburgh to work for Duolingo! When asked, Ming says that his favorite event that the band participates in is... all of them, because the band always wins!

When he looks back on his time in the band, Ming will remember the rainy football halftime show in Providence, RI when the band played the Scooby-Doo theme in three different keys, on wet drums, and with no woodwind accompaniment.
Ming wants bandos of the future always to remember to "Play loud and play proud!"

Claire Brundage

Our next senior spotlight is one of our clarinets, Claire Brundage! (Pictured center)

Claire comes to the Penn Band from Vermont. When shes not playing her clarinet, Claire is focused on her Mechanical Engineering major. After she leaves us in the fall, Claire will be spending her summer working at an internship at SF startup, before returning in the fall to complete her submatriculation into the Robotics masters program, and then finally moving on to work at SpaceX next February! During her time as a bando, Claire served the band as equipment manager.

Claire's favorite band event and most treasured memory go hand in hand. She loves the band's participation in graduation every year, and will fondly remember the year that the band was lucky enough to play our own rendition of ‘My Shot' for the one and only Lin Manuel Miranda at graduation.
Claire leaves the remaining bandos behind with some wise words of advice, "Always bring a hat, gloves, and sunscreen to football games. You'll likely need at least two of them."

Faith Taliaferro

Our next senior comes from the flute section, its Faith Taliaferro! (Pictured on third from the left)

Faith hails from Los Angeles, CA. When not playing her flute, Faith spends her time on her Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics major. After graduation, Faith will remain on campus to do research before she applies to a PhD or a MD/PhD program. Faith's favorite time to participate in band events is when campus is green and warm, especially anything NSO and Convocation related!

Faith will always remember the times in band which she spent running around Franklin Field during rehearsal, specifically Homecoming rehearsals. But the best memory for Faith will always be the feeling in the band of being at home.
Faith encourages the remaining bandos to, "Go to band often while you still can, because when things get rough you'll have a community to fall back on, even if you don't talk to them every day. If nothing else, you'll amp up your time management skills early on."

Owen Pollock

Next in our senior spotlight series is Owen Pollock! (Pictured second from the left)

Owen is from Havertown, PA and plays the trombone in the low brass section. Owen is majoring in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies, and once he graduates he will be commissioning as an officer in the US Marine Corps. He has also served the band in the demanding job of low brass section leader! Owen tells us that his favorite thing to do with the band was going on road trips.

After Owen leaves Penn, he will look back on his time in the Penn Band and remember the 2018 Penn vs. Brown football game. According to Owen it was, "A rainy mess, but still a great game!"
To the bandos he is leaving behind, and the bandos yet to come, Owen provides some straightforward words of wisdom that are true to the heart of the low brass section, simply to "Play loud."

Jonathan Delgadillo

The next senior up is Jonathan Delgadillo, a member of our chop section!

Jonathan originates from Los Angeles and spends his time at Penn, when not being a bando, majoring in Mathematical Economics. After graduation, Jonathan plans on working as a research assistant before applying to PhD programs in Economics to study socioeconomic inequality and mobility through examining educational interventions and job training programs for adults. As a member of the band, Jonathan's favorite events to participate in are road trips and our yearly Christmas Village performance in Center City!

When looking back on his time in band, the things that stick out to Jonathan, like many of our seniors, are road trips. Visiting the other Ivy's, catching up with friends, and playing Quizzo on the bus are only a few of the aspects of road trips that made his time in band unique to his Penn experience.
Jonathan wants all the bandos he leaves behind to remember the idea at the heart of the Penn Band, "As long as you like to play music, or just like being around bandos, band will always welcome you with open arms. Don't ever feel like you *have* to go to that basketball game, or that social event, or like you must be as committed as you were last semester. Band should be a fun experience for you!"

Christina Nordrum

Our next senior is a baritone from the low brass section, its Christina Nordrum! (Pictured center)

Christina hails from Corte Madera, CA. When not banding, she's focused on her major in Materials Science and Engineering. After graduation, Christina plans to keep living her life wherever that takes her, whether its Denver or Seattle. Christina joined the band in her junior year, and became such a dedicated bando that she was warmly welcomed into the Fanfare Honor Society this semester! The one band event that Christina makes sure never to miss is waking up freshman by storming the Quad before football games!

The memories form band will stick in Christina's mind forever also come from football season. She loves everything about field rehearsals; from sprinting and somersaulting across Franklin Field, to stealing Greer's hat, and even to a round of BFL after rehearsal is over!
Christina suggests that remaining bandos always remember to, "Yell as much as you can at band events because it's rare that you'll get to do that anywhere else in life. Plus it's great stress relief."

Nick Cruickshank

Up next in our senior line up is a sax, Nick Cruickshank!

Nick is a Biological Basis of Behavior major who comes to us from Wayne, PA. Post graduation, Nick plans on working in a job similar to arts administration or customer marketing. Nick's favorite event to participate in with the band is homecoming, especially when the Quakers win and the whole crowd sings along as we play Red and Blue!

When reflecting on his time in band, the one memory that will stick in Nick's mind is his fellow senior Cathy Zhang falling face first into a snowbank.
Nick asks the remaining bandos to carry on his memory in the band by always remembering to, "Bring the hype. Dance along. Shout until you voice is gone."

Melanie Xu

The next senior in our spotlight series is a drumline member, its Melanie Xu!

Melanie claims both West Windsor, NJ and Tokyo, Japan as her home. She is majoring in History and Economics and after graduation she plans on working as a paralegal before going on to law school! Melanie's favorite annual band event is our festive performance at the Christmas Village in Center City!

When looking back on her time in band, Melanie says that her most cherished memory was being one of the bandos that got to go to Wichita for the NCAAs in 2018, she loved exploring what she calls and ‘adorable city!'

Izzy Viney

Our next senior is both a chop and a baritone player from the low brass section, Izzy Viney!

Izzy hails from Carlsbad, CA. When not being a bando, Izzy spends her time on her work for her Cell and Molecular Biology major. After she graduates, Izzy plans on working in an environmental biology lab as a lab tech before she moves on to grad school and begins working in research. Izzy also dedicated extra time and effort to the band by serving as the Recruitment and Retention chair for a year. Izzy's favorite thing to do as a bando was rehearse, according to her rehearsals are always super fun!

When looking back on her time as a bando, Izzy says that her best memory of her time in the Penn Band was when we travelled to Cornell for a football game and the temperature dropped 20 degrees in half an hour, she says it was ‘crazy and amazing.'
To all other bandos Izzy says, "Failure doesn't exist unless you're dead - just keep trying and you'll reach your goals!"

Olivia Ruiz

Up next is a senior in both the low brass and chop sections, Olivia Ruiz!

Olivia comes from Bloomfield, MI. Outside of band, she is a Materials Science and Engineering major and a Math minor. Olivia is submatting into the masters program in Science and Engineering after she graduates in May. Olivia has also served the band as the chair of the Fanfare Honor Society. Out of all the events the band participates in, Olivia's favorite is playing for the Penn Alums at Alumni Day.

Looking back on her time in band, it's difficult for Olivia to choose her best memory. The things that come to her mind are: impeaching the former band president Ben Parker, the Cornell/Columbia roadtrip her sophomore year, and dorm-storming Hill College House.
Olivia wants her fellow bandos to remember, "College is such a small part of your life, don't let the stress now make you forget that. Go to band events and cause issues while you can."

Matt Oslin

Let's keep these senior spotlights rolling with a member of the sax section, Matt Oslin!

Matt joined us from the not so distant land of the Philadelphia Suburbs. Outside of band, Matt keeps busy by spending his time on his Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics major. After he graduates, Matt is packing up and heading out west to work. Matt highlights Commencement as one of his favorite events to play at with the band, as well as the band's non-stop playing to rally Quaker fans at games!

When asked to look back on his time in band, Matt remembers going with the Men's basketball team to the NCAA's in Kansas, saying it was the most hype game he'd ever been to and the team played so well that it was so much fun to be right there in the action. He loved getting all decked out in paint and screaming his heart out as well.
Matt askes the remaining present and future bandos to remember that, "Band is always there when you need it."

Kiera Towell

Our next senior is a trombone player from the low brass section, its Kiera Towell!

Kiera originates from Edmonds. WA. She spends her time outside of band on her Materials Science and Engineering major. After graduation, Kiera will be continuing her education at Penn by entering into a Masters program.

The best event of the band year for Kiera is when we get to play for a variety of Penn alums during the Alumni Day celebrations every year!
In the future, when Kiera looks back on her time in the Penn Band, she will always remember the 2018 Ivy Tournament games!

Emily Elenio

We're going to keep these senior spotlights rolling with none other than Emily Elenio from the sax section! (Pictured on the left)

Emily hails from Ridgefield, NJ. Although she's had many majors, she finally settled on Anthropology with a minor in Nutrition. After she graduates, Emily will be moving to New York City to work as a consultant. Emily has taken on many roles during her time in the band. She has served as Travel Manager, Sax Section Leader, Treasurer, the Voice, and last but not least as President. Emily's favorite band event, the NCAA's, is always a hit or miss. She especially loved the 2018 Kansas trip despite the culture shock, but did not enjoy having to take an Orgo exam in LA during the 2017 NCAA trip.

Emily has so many memories from band that could qualify as her favorites, but she's kindly narrowed her selection down to three. The first is from her freshman year when her family surprised her by coming to homecoming, Emily came up from her bow to play Red and Blue and heard the crowd's applause as she saw her family. Second, is another Homecoming memory, when she had a lightsaber battle with former DM Jenna Harowitz on the field during halftime. Finally, Emily remembers this year's senior game, when she read the senior show as the Voice and still made it down onto the field to play the Red and Blue, even earning a half hug from Koosh in the process.
Emily's words of advice to the bandos she leaves behind is to, "Never be afraid to try something new or different. I joined the Penn Band by mistake (true story) and it's the best mistake I've ever made!" Also, "LET THE BOYS/GIRLS PLAY!"

Tiger Huang

The next senior spotlight features one of our chops, Tiger Huang! (Pictured center)

Tiger is a International Relations and Finance major, with minors in History and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, who comes to the band all the way from Auckland, New Zealand. After he graduates, Tiger will be going to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York with hopes to apply to the New Zealand foreign service. Perhaps his crowning achievement in band, Tiger won the prestigious 2016 ‘International Spy' award. Like many of his fellow seniors, Tiger's favorite band event to participate in is road trips, particularly those to Dartmouth!

Tiger's most poignant band memory is when, on the way back to Philly from New Haven, the band was ‘held up' on the bus in the Bronx at 2:00 AM, for three hours. Especially. When he and some other bandos tried to walk through the McDonald's drive through.
Tiger sends some parting words to his fellow bandos: "I wish everybody success in their endeavours wherever they go, thank you for an amazing four years. Please stay in touch!"

Jackson Betz

Up next is one of our senior bells player, Jackson Betz! (Pictured on the right)

Jackson is from Downingtown, PA and is majoring in Music with a minor in Architecture. After graduation, Jackson plans on continuing his education in grad school. Jackson is a member of the band's Fanfare Honor Society, served as a Recruitment and Retention chair, and took on the difficult role of Drumline Section Leader. His favorite band event is leading the annual LGBT Center parade across campus as part of the drumline!

Looking back on his time in band, the memory that sticks out the most for Jackson is the Penn vs. Villanova basketball game last December, especially because Penn beat Villanova, the reigning NCAA Champions. He loved the atmosphere in the packed Palestra, making it something he'll never forget!
Jackson wants all his fellow bandos to remember that band is always a family; "Definitely come to band stuff, but also hang out with the friends you make in band! Some of my favorite college memories are just chilling and watching Jeopardy and solving the NY Times crossword puzzle with my drumline friends. The band is a ready-made friend group. People I've met in Penn Band are super friendly, are awesome musicians, and love to do really cool stuff, so you're like, crazy if you don't take advantage of the fact that this awesome community exists!"

Jackson also gives a special shoutout to his fellow bells players from over the years for always being there for him and for becoming some of his best friends!

Candace Jasper

Let's keep these senior spotlights rolling with Candace Jasper, a member of the sax section!

Candace hails from Colombia, MD. When not playing her sax, she is focusing on her Bioengineering major. Like Jackson, Candace enjoys the relatively new band tradition of participating in the LGBT Center parade on Penn's campus!

Reflecting on the many memories she's made with the band, one sticks out to Candace. She fondly remembers going on the Columbia roadtrip her freshman year, and the quality time she spent with her fellow bandos searching for souvenirs.
Candace reminds her fellow bandos that band can help you keep up with schoolwork. She says, "You can try to leave band for a month, or a semester and hope that's enough to get your academics back on track. And people will let you, it's up to you how much you come around and no one wants to force you to have fun. But it's the band - the events, the people, the time you block into your schedule purely for fun - that keep your academics on track. I've found that flaking never fixed anything."

Rendy Fernandez

Up next in our senior spotlight series is one of our saxes, none other than Rendy Fernandez! (Pictured second from the right)

Rendy calls Cape Coral, FL home. When not playing his sax, he spends his time majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Consumer Psychology. After he graduates, Rendy will remain at Penn as a Dean's Scholar in the Dental School. He may also pursue a DMD/MBA. On top of his academics, Rendy dedicated himself to band through his positions as Sax Section Leader and Treasurer. Every year, Rendy's favorite band event is NSO week. He enjoys meeting the potential bandos, making great memories, and welcoming all the new members of the Penn community (not to mention getting great pictures with Amy G)!

Rendy's best memories of his time in band are when the Men's basketball team won the 2018 Ivy Tourney and the following trip to the NCAA's in Wichita. These memories were made special to Rendy because of the energy in the Palestra and the dedication of the fans at the Ivy Tourney games, as well as the unique opportunity of being able to travel with the team to the NCAA's.
Rendo leaves the remaining bandos some words of advice: "Learn how to efficiently manage your time. You'll quickly realize how much your schedule can clear up if you efficiently plan out your events for the day and set benchmarks for what you want to accomplish. Things that are important to you will eventually become a priority and it'll become easier to fit them into your schedule."

Chris Urffer

The next senior in our spotlight series is Chris Urffer, a member of our low brass section! (Pictured on the left)

Chris calls Media, PA home and, when not spending his time on band, is majoring in Computer Engineering. After graduation, Chris plans on taking a road trip before eventually going back to school to get his Masters degree. During his time in band, Chris served as our Social Chair, Secretary, and webmaster. He also won the prestigious "11th Annual, but recently named, Joe Becker ‘You know it's cold if he's wearing pants'" award in his freshman year. Chris's two favorite band events are the Phillies 5k and, like many of his fellow seniors, basketball roadtrips.

Chris has numerous cherished memories from his time in the Penn Band, from: eating too much at Bonegiving every year; to going to Atlantic City for the Miss America parade and the dachshund festival which allowed him to wander the New Jersey boardwalk and play pinball to his heart's content; to making memories like sledding on pizza boxes at 2:00 AM or going to Atlantic City during senior week with his fellow bandos; and finally living in the band house.
Chris leaves his fellow bandos with some food for thought, "People say that you slowly become more like the people you surround yourself with. Personally I believe it, but whether it's true or not, there's no group I'd rather spend time with than the band."

Richard DiNapoli

Next up is a senior from the drumline, Richard DiNapoli!

Richard hails from Voorhees, New Jersey. When he finds time outside of band, Richard is a History and Political Science double major with minors in Music and Latin American and Latino Studies. After graduation, Richard will be remaining at Penn as a member of the Penn Law class of 2022. In his four years with the band, Richard has served in many positions, such as: Conducting Assistant, Assistant Drum Major, Social Chair, Percussion Technician, Junior Drum Major, Senior Drum Major, and secretary for the Fanfare Honor Society. Richard also earned the Freshman of the year award in 2016. Out of all the events the band participates in, Richard is especially fond of Hey Day!

Looking back on his time in band, Richard remembers the 2018 Athletics Picnic, when he won a high-striker carnival game on his first try. He was then chest bumped by a football player amid the cheers of his fellow bandos, which was some well deserved recognition outside of the band community!
Richard asks that the members of the Penn Band keep in mind that, "You choose what you give to this band, and it will never stop repaying you."

Zabryna Atkinson-Diaz

The next senior in our spotlight series is our current Drum Major and one time Chop, Zabryna Atkinson-Diaz! (Pictured front and center)

Zabryna originates from South Florida and is majoring in Health and Societies. After graduation, she will be serving as a Community Health Specialist in Cameroon for the next two years with the Peace Corps. Besides her current position as DM, Zabryna has served the band as Chop Section Leader, Secretary, and as a Conducting Assistant. Like many of her fellow seniors, Zabryna's favorite event that she has been able to participate in with the band was the NCAA's!

For Zabryna, the best memory of her time in band was conducting at the Penn vs. Villanova Men's Basketball game this year. The Palestra was the most packed she had ever seen it in her four years in the band and the fans were incredibly animated. The palpable energy in everyone there connected the fans, and made this event stick in Zabryna's memory. She says, "I may have lost my voice, but it was well worth it."
Zabryna wants the bandos she leaves behind to cherish their time in the band, urging them to, "Enjoy every moment. In the good times and bad, band is always there to pick you up. It's a team, it's a family."

Candace Morff

Up next is a senior mello player, Candace Morff! (Pictured third from the right)

Candace calls International Falls, MN home. She is majoring in German and Earth Science, with a concentration in Environmental Science. After graduation, Candace will be going out into the world as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany. In terms of band, Candace has taken on the daunting role of Low Brass Section Leader. Candace's favorite bone-event of the whole bone-year is Bonegiving!

When looking back on her time in band, Candace says that leading the Hey Day parade down Locust as an underclassman will be one of her best memories. For Candace this was special because Hey Day is a tradition typically reserved for Juniors and Seniors, but the band completes the picture. She also enjoys seeing herself and her friends in pictures of Hey Day wherever they appear. Additionally, Candace will always remember making Low Brass pyramids.
Candace asks that the remaining bandos "Have fun! Band should always be a place for you to de-stress, hang out with friends, and enjoy being a college student. So, make sure to keep it that way."

John McGahay

Our next senior brings some sax section representation, it's John McGahay! (Pictured center)

John comes to the Penn Band from Poughkeepsie, NY. He is double majoring in Linguistics and Cognitive Science and double minoring in Computer Science and German. After graduation, John will be going to Germany as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, he also plans on eventually attending grad school to study Linguistics. John went the extra mile for the band and served as one of the Recruitment and Retention Chairs in 2016. True to this position, John's favorite band event is helping out with organizing the freshman picture during NSO, because he was able to talk to potential new Bandos!

John's most cherished band memories include spending time with is fellow bandos on road trips to Providence, RI and singing Bohemian Rhapsody on the bus during another road trip to Dartmouth!
For any bandos looking some advice from a wise upperclassman like like John, his words of wisdom are: "Savor your time with Kushol Gupta while you still have it."

Cathy Zhang

Our next senior is one of our claribabes, Cathy Zhang! (Pictured on the right)

Cathy's hails from Nashville, TN and is majoring in Health and Societies as well as Sociology. After graduation, Cathy will be working as a Research Administrative Coordinator at the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. As a bando, Cathy took on the the roles of Clarinet Section Leader and the Fanfare Honor Society's Vice President. Cathy's favorite band event is the annual Bonegiving celebrations each November!

Cathy provides some words of wisdom on how to make the most of you time in band for the bandos she leaves behind, "Go on as many road trips as you can! Cherish your section and all the lovely people you meet through band, and don't be afraid to lean on each other for support."

Renee Hastings

Let's keep our senior spotlight series going with one of our mellos, Renee Hastings!

Renee comes to the band from Basking Ridge, NJ. When not being a bando, Renee is a Biochemistry major with a minor in Fine Arts. After graduation, Renee will be getting her PhD in Biophysics from Stanford University! Renee's dedication to the band extended past being a bando, she served as the band's Equipment Manager, Public Relations Chair, and Secretary. Renee's favorite band event is the best bone-day of the whole bone-year, Bonegiving!

One of Renee's most cherished memories of her time in band is when the band was in L.A. for the 2017 NCAA's. She especially enjoyed going to LACMA with some of her fellow bandos and laughing incredibly hard on the way there, She says, "The fact that just hanging out with other bandos still sticks out in my mind after two years really shows me how the people in this group are the part that makes it great." She also fondly remembers seceding from the band with the mellophone section, because of how it helped the mellos bond as a section.
Renee wants her fellow bandos to remember, "Lean in and lean out as you need to. Being super involved can be very rewarding, but also taking time to be a chill bando and focus on other aspects of your life is totally ok. Also, I didn't know until after I was on Board what a fantastic alumni community the band has! So take advantage of that. We're all super lucky to have a network of people we can reach out to who always want to help, as well as a friend in almost any city you go to."