What Parents Say

Music literally introduced the world to them
“The music program at Mountlake Terrace High School is outstanding, and being part of the band program was an extraordinary experience that forever will be a highlight in my children’s high school memories. My sons’ life interests are in science and technology but music literally introduced the world to them and instilled enduring life lessons in hard work, discipline, disappointments and joy. Yes, the MTHS music program is demanding but bringing out the best in oneself and in band mates is demanding. However, the rewards can be great. My sons’ bands earned the honor to play before full houses at Benaroya Hall, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, and Lincoln Center in New York City. They played in The Hague at the exclusive North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. They have entertained audiences in Paris, Hawaii, Canada and New Orleans. Travel and being immersed in different cultures is an education that goes beyond the classroom. My daughter continues with this tradition as her band prepares for a New York trip in the summer of 2004. My oldest son recently graduated with a Computer Science degree from the University of Washington and my second son is currently a freshman at the UW. They still continue to visit and support their ‘old’ high school, and to where do they head first when they enter the building… the music wing, of course.”
Delsa Anderl, parent of Tom (1999), Jeremy (2003) and Michelle Anderl (2005)
Have given him a lifelong gift
“The most important and meaningful part of Sam’s high school experience has been the time that he has spent in the MTHS band program. This program is truly one of the best programs in the nation. The MTHS Jazz Ensembles compete locally and nationally with all-star bands and magnet school bands. This is a remarkable accomplishment, because the MTHS bands are made up entirely of students who reside within our school boundaries. To be able to compete at this level, students quickly learn the importance of hard work, attention to detail, time management, and commitment to a team. Sam will be able to take these life lessons and apply them to both his future education and to his future career, in whatever field he chooses.

Other benefits of the band program may be less obvious but are equally important. Peer pressure is huge during high school, but as a group, these students rarely get into trouble. It has been a great relief to see my son choose quality friends – all of whom are in the band program. Finally, I believe that by supporting my son’s music education, I have given him a lifelong gift – he has an appreciation for music and has developed a skill that will allow him to enjoy a creative outlet for the rest of his life.”
Jill Van Dalfsen, parent of Sam (2004) and Kelsey (2008)

The MTHS music department was a great gig
“Our two sons were in Jazz II, Jazz I, Wind Ensemble, and Full Orchestra. They both started as freshmen in the beginning concert band, which gave them a smaller group of students to relate to (daily) while trying to adapt to life in a very large high school. Participation in music gave them continuity through the school year, structure to their school days (they practiced nearly every day), and valuable team experience. They are now both science majors at small colleges (Scott graduated from Whitman College and is currently in a graduate program at Dartmouth and Peter is at Gonzaga University). Both Whitman and Gonzaga have jazz bands, and their Admissions Offices gave our sons credit for participating in competitive music groups for 3-4 years. The admissions people know about the hours put in by award-winning band members and the dedication they need to have to the music, fellow musicians, and the director. Competitive colleges look for students who have demonstrated that kind of dedication and will bring it to their campus. Both sons sought out a small college with a strong liberal arts reputation that had a jazz band so they could continue what they started at MTHS. Our sons have told us that when they reminisce about their music experiences at MTHS with their college musician friends, their friends don’t have any idea what that ride was like. As a family, we realize all those years with the MTHS music department was a great gig.”
Karen Daniel, parent of Scott (1999) and Peter Daniel (2001)
Learned almost without meaning to
“Sure, my kids loved making music, and having a place to belong at school, at games, etc. They found themselves with a ready-made group of like-minded friends, most of whom were serious not only about their music, but about their academic work as well. The travel opportunities cannot be over-rated, as they learned almost without meaning to as they encountered other towns, other climates, other cultures. But as a parent, I am most grateful to the music program for teaching my son, as he has said in one of his college essays, “the concept of greatness in music and life.”
Parent of a 2004 senior
Music was extremely crucial to Alex’s academic success
“I may be biased but I believe music was extremely crucial to Alex’s academic success at Terrace HS and now at Seattle Pacific University. The experience added depth, dimension, and texture to his intellectual abilities to take the hard courses and conquer them. If he had the same decision facing him as incoming freshman do now, I don’t believe he would have selected the Music Program within its small school as his appetites would have tended towards another small school with AP courses. It is my opinion that he would have suffered from this choice and underachieved without the music experience.”
Craig Moore, parent of Alex Moore (2003)