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Buchholz High student selected as national finalist in U.S. Navy musical competition for second straight year

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Madelyn UrbineFor the second year in a row, Buchholz High School junior Madelyn Urbine has been named a finalist in the prestigious U.S. Navy Band Young Artist Solo Competition.

To earn her spot as a finalist, Urbine submitted a video recording of an audition piece. She will be traveling to Washington D.C. in March to compete in the final round of the competition. As a finalist, she’ll be performing with the Navy’s Concert Band and get individual coaching with a member of the Band. The grand prize winner will perform as the featured soloist with the Concert Band in May.

“Being selected once as a finalist is an incredible honor,” said Buchholz band director Noah Graben. “Being selected twice as a student who is among one of the top eight or ten instrumentalists in the nation is something else.”

Urbine performed with the Navy Band as a finalist last year, and said it was a great experience.

“To be around other people my age who are so talented and feel the way I do about music was amazing,” she said. “I can’t wait to go back.”

Urbine didn’t start playing the French horn until she started taking band at Ft. Clarke Middle School under now-retired band director Everett McConn. She’d never played an instrument before. She’s participated in school band ever since. 

“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be part of band,” she said. “We get to create something together, we’re not competing against each other, and that’s a great feeling. Music really brings people together.

“Her amazing work ethic really sets her apart,” said Graben. “She has exceptional musical talent coupled with just immense determination.”