Matthew Griffith, a senior at North High School, has been selected as one of seven national finalists in "The President's Own" United States Marine Band Concerto Competition. He will perform in the final round of the competition at 2 p.m., Sat., Feb. 20 in the John Philip Sousa Band Hall at the Marine Barracks Annex in Washington, D.C. The performance is free and open to the public.
Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, "The President's Own" United States Marine Band is America's oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Today, "The President's Own" is celebrated for its role at the White House and its dynamic public performances. "The President's Own" encompasses the United States Marine Band, Marine Chamber Orchestra, and Marine Chamber Ensembles, and performs regularly at the White House and for more than 500 public performances across the nation each year.
Matthew is co-principal clarinet of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Senior Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra, and 1st chair of the UW-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensemble. He was selected for State Honors Orchestra in 2008 and Honors Band in 2007 and 2009, and has received two Exemplary Soloist Awards at the State Solo-Ensemble competition. He was a winner of the 2009 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Auditions, and performed as soloist with the orchestra on the "Stars of Tomorrow"concert in March 2009. He also won the 2009 UW-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition and the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble's High School Young Artist Competition and in June 2009 was soloist with the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra.
Matthew began taking clarinet lessons in 6th grade with Dr. Jill Hanes, principal clarinet of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, and in 2008 began study with Todd Levy, principal clarinet of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera. He has attended music camp at UW-Madison, where he was in honors ensembles in both middle school and high school and was selected to perform in the Student Honors Recital in 2006, and at UW-Green Bay, where in 2008 he was presented an Outstanding Camper Award scholarship as a member of the Honors Wind Ensemble. Matthew plans to pursue majors in clarinet performance and computer science in college.