Li earns a seat with the All-Eastern Concert Band



Junior Patrick Li, who earned a seat as an alto saxophone player with the All-Eastern Band on Jan. 21, will play online in April for the National Association for Music Education.

By Claire Claudy

Junior Patrick Li earned a seat with the All-Eastern Concert Band for alto saxophone on Jan. 21. 

The All-Eastern Band gathers the most musically talented high school students in the eastern region of the U.S. This region consists of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the northeastern states that lie geographically above them.

The band is run through the National Association for Music Education, one of the largest arts education organizations in the world, dedicated to preserving and advancing music education in school curriculums.  Patrick was selected to play one of the eight positions for alto saxophone. Of 1,200 applicants, about 100 are selected for the band.

Li auditioned for and was selected for the District 11 band last year. He then moved on to play for Region 6, which consisted of musicians from all of southeastern Pa. Next, he competed against five other regions’ musicians in the state. Then, Li was selected for the state level. From there, with the help of Mr. McCoach, Li applied for the All-Eastern Band.

With rehearsal starting in March and COVID-19 still looming, the band will meet and practice via Zoom. Even though this is nontraditional and can be seen as quite an obstacle, Li still has an open mind and positive attitude.

“It will definitely be cool to meet other kids who are passionate about what they play. I am excited to see how it works out. It is a new opportunity,” he said.

The final performance will take place in April. All students will send in video recordings to be included in a final video concert, to be premiered online by the Eastern Division of NAfME. The performance will consist of various types of music.

“I still have a lot left to learn, and I am excited to play different types of music with new people,” he added.

Li, who has been playing instruments since before he was 10 years old, encouraged younger students, who do not know if playing an instrument is right for them, to just give it a shot. Li has been playing saxophone since fourth grade, and played two other instruments, piano and violin, before the saxophone.