Mia Morrell and Avery Logan of Culbreth Middle School have been selected for the North Carolina Honors Jazz Band. Avery was selected as the band’s sole drummer, and Mia will play first chair alto saxophone. Mia also was selected for the NC Honors Jazz Band last year. The NC Honors Jazz Band will perform on April 13 and 14 at the North Carolina School of Science and Math in Durham.

Mia Morrell also was chosen for the North Carolina Honors Concert in a separate audition. This is her second year being selected for the Honors Concert. She competed against the best alto saxophone players in the state and was selected as 2nd chair for this band. She will be performing May 4-6 at UNC-Chapel Hill with the best middle school players in North Carolina.

Sam Berryhill is Culbreth Middle School’s music teacher and band leader, “Mia and Avery are excellent musicians,” noted Berryhill, “I am not at all surprised that they have been selected to these state-level bands.” Berryhill has been Culbreth’s music teacher band leader for ten years. He enjoys “helping kids fall in love with music.” “Music can be a vehicle to take them places, both figuratively and literally. It helps them connect with their emotions and the human spirit,” explained Berryhill.

Avery, an 8th grader, has been playing drums for two years. Prior to playing the drums, Avery studied the piano, which he said “is a good foundation for learning how to read music.” But he found that the drums were a better way for him “to express himself.” “You can be a lot more creative with the drums,” explained Avery.

Mia, who also is an 8th grader, has been playing alto saxophone since she was 11 years old. Like her favorite musician Charlie Parker, she enjoys the “freedom of musical expression with jazz saxophone.” She also enjoys playing the classical piano. In addition to music, she is a gifted year-round swimmer.