Milford senior and HVMB leader excels in the musical arts


Madison Curtis

Matthew Stewart accepting a $2,000 scholarship from the MCBA.

Madison Curtis, Assistant Editor

As Christmas break approaches, Milford Senior Matthew Stewart has accomplished more in three months than some students achieve throughout their entire high school careers.

Stewart is a devoted member of the Huron Valley Marching Band. When not performing as a clarinet soloist, he is leading the band on and off the field as a drum major and section leader.

Mr. Green, HVMB Director and Director of Bands at Lakeland, Milford and International Academy West, spoke highly of Stewart’s leadership skills.

“He is a natural leader, a role model to all the band, and a shining example of what hard work can achieve…He has a positive and infectious attitude and spirit and all of these things make him who he is as one of the top students in the program,” stated Green.

Emily Fountain, Milford senior and HVMB member, reflected on Stewart’s admirable attitude.

“I have learned…that there is really no reason to be working alone on things, and you can get a lot more done efficiently if we work together,” Fountain declared.

Because of his outstanding talent and ambition, Stewart was selected to perform with the Eastern Michigan University Honor Band based on his nomination and audition recordings. The EMU Honor Band selectees attend a two-day event that will “provide an enriching musical experience for all participants through the study and performance of varied repertoire,” according to the EMU School of Music and Dance.

As Principal Clarinet (1st chair), Stewart played a vital role in the band’s success. In accordance to Green, there were 94 student participants this year, and over 10% were representatives of the HVMB program.

Conducted by Director and Associate Director of Bands, Dr. Mary K. Schneider and Dr. J. Nick Smith, the band performed Nov. 20 at Pease Auditorium, located on the EMU campus. The show included free admission and was open to the public.

Moreover, in addition to being selected to participate in the District IV MSBOA Honor Band, Stewart was also selected for the MSBOA All-State Band.

The Michigan School of Band and Orchestra Association provide Michigan students with the opportunity to receive professional guidance and recognition for their hard work. During this three-day event, participants attend rehearsals directed by “nationally recognized conductors,” according to the MSBOA.

In order to be selected as a member of the All-State Band, Green explained, “These students had to audition and prepare a rigorous etude (a short musical composition), scales, and sight read (play something on sight for the first time) back in October.”

Stewart and the rest of the band will perform in January at the Michigan Music Conference, located in Grand Rapids. Tickets are available on the Michigan Music Conference’s website.

Lastly, Stewart received a $2,000 scholarship from the Michigan Competing Band Association at the 2022 MCBA Championships on Nov. 5.

Applicants were required to be a high school senior, who is a member of an MCBA marching band, and intend on entering a college to major in music or a related field.

“After enlisting in the Army Reserve or National Guard, I plan on majoring in music education with the dream of leading my own competitive bands and winter marching ensembles,” stated Stewart.

Without a doubt, the Huron Valley Marching Band would not be where it is today without Stewart’s presence as a leader and accomplished clarinet player. Green and Fountain applaud Stewart for his efforts within the program.

“His presence is critical. We are lucky to have him, and the fact that he came from a different high school to Milford, with a different perspective, learned how to work here, and then experienced all the change with the merger and 2 different band directors, his outlook and drive have helped shape our success through this entire process.

Similarly, Fountain added, “Matthew’s presence adds a lot to the band. He tries to hype us all up the best that he can, and it gets some people more excited to want to be there.”

Overall, Stewart has a bright future ahead of him. There is no doubt that he will continue to achieve greatness in the last months of high school and in his future academic and career endeavors.