Friday, March 3, 2023

Youth Orchestra Student Nolan Henckel Wins Competition

This weekend is a big deal for a lot of our student musicians as they tackle solo and ensemble. But one of our students has decided to skip S&E this year for a very good reason.

Horn player Nolan Henckel participated in a competition for high school and college students sponsored by the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble. Though competition was strong, Nolan took home first place with a cash prize and an opportunity to solo with the ensemble. 

His performance is Saturday, March 4th and he will perform Morceau de Concert by Camille Saint-Saens.  

Band director Mike Arendt founded the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble, and Mike was a student of Nolan's grandpa, Richard (Dick) Henckel. Mike has a daughter who plays cello, and Laura Kenney Henckel, Nolan's mother, taught her in her teens. Yet another layer of connection is that Laura is also teaching her two daughters!

The connections don't end there. Mike Arendt taught Jeremiah Eis (band director at Xavier Middle School) who taught Nolan in middle school. Jeremiah is now the conductor of the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble and will be up on stage with Nolan for his concerto debut.

It is hard to believe there can be so many connections, but we are truly blessed to have such an amazing and collaborative music community here in the Fox Cities. 

Best wishes this weekend, Nolan. We know you will be amazing!

Nolan's Biography:

Nolan Henckel, age 17, is a Junior at Xavier High School in Appleton, Wisconsin. He began playing the horn in 3rd grade, and he quickly advanced, despite his young age. He briefly studied with Don Krause (Neenah) before moving on to study with Andy Parks (DePere). Nolan began studying with Dr. Bruce Atwell, professor of horn at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, in January 2019 and continues to study in his studio.

Nolan has participated in the Wisconsin State Music Association’s (WSMA) Middle Level State Honors program (6th through 9th grade) and High School State Honors program (10th and 11th grade). He has also participated in the WSMA District Solo and Ensemble Festival, qualifying for State Solo and Ensemble Festival competition each year since 6th grade.

Nolan has been an active band member at Xavier as well as being a member of the Fox Valley Youth Orchestra and the Lawrence Community Wind Ensemble. He has spent the last two summers at Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) Academy, the nation’s premier faith-based music academy for high school students, in Valparaiso, Indiana. LSM is a four-week program providing advanced musical instruction and numerous performance opportunities. In addition to studying horn, Nolan has explored composition and conducting.

Nolan comes from a very musical family. His parents, Laura (cello) and Michael (trumpet), are both very active musically, as are his siblings, Kayla (violin) and Dylan (vocal tenor). The previous generation also includes Laura’s mother, Carol Leybourn Janssen (piano), and Michael’s father, C. Richard Henckel (horn).  One of the horns Nolan uses today was his grandfather’s.

In addition to playing the horn, Nolan enjoys video games, watching football (the Denver Broncos, not the Packers), cheeseburgers, and spending time with his two cats, Arlong and Snickers.

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