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Utica High senior among only 100 student musicians selected for Concerto Competition
Utica High senior among only 100 student musicians selected for Concerto Competition
Posted on 04/05/2022
Mary Borus

For Mary Borus, success on the alto saxophone is part of a family tradition. 

She grew up hearing her mother perform on the alto saxophone and her grandfather led a jazz band with the instrument. 

And now Borus has been honored as among the best student musicians in Michigan. 

“I’ve been hearing it for a long time and it’s a very cool instrument to me,” Borus said. “It is very versatile and it has a really awesome sound to it.”

Last week, her family history of success will continue when Borus became one of 106 students selected to perform in the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Concerto Competition.

“It feels amazing,” said Borus, a senior at Utica High School. “There are so many instrumentalists in the state and it feels cool to be recognized.”

Borus was selected by adjudicated judges based on her performance in a State Solo & Ensemble Festival. Students performed their solos at a concert April 8 at Central Michigan University.

UHS band director Brett Bays has had Borus as a student for the past five years. 

“She is a very talented musician who dedicates many hours to practicing her saxophone and this has opened up many opportunities for her,” he said.  “Mary has played in several honors bands and community bands in southeastern Michigan, and she was one of the UHS Marching Band section leaders. Mary has been playing college level music at competitions since she was a junior in high school. This shows her incredibly advanced skill and she is always striving to improve each and every day.”

Bays said: "It has been an honor having a student of Mary's caliber in the Utica High School Band program!”

Borus has performed with school’s wind ensemble and is a section leader for the marching band. 

She said her work at Utica High School has helped her “learn how to cooperate with new people and learn new pieces of music.” Her next step is to pursue a degree in music performance with a minor in business administration as she pursues her dream of performing with the United States Armed Forces Ensemble. 

“I’ve been fascinated with their work for so long,” she said. “I want to be able to perform at that level and have that kind of experience traveling around the world.”