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North Fort Myers Academy of the Arts eighth-grader receives all-state honors

By Staff | Dec 31, 2014

Lilly Todd doesn’t just play the notes on a trumpet, she can make it sing, and other musical instruments as well.

That’s why the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts eighth-grader recently received one of the highest honors a student her age can get: an invitation to the All-State Middle School band, one of only two Lee County students to earn the honor.

Todd will play with the All-State band next month in Tampa. She said she was excited about the opportunity.

“It’s great because I’ve never gotten this experience before and it’s cool to be able to go to Tampa and play,” Todd said.

Todd got started with the trumpet in fifth grade after taking a look at it in a class and thinking it was interesting. She tried it and was immediately hooked, advancing quickly through the ranks, from beginner to concert and jazz, before becoming a member of the wind ensemble.

Three years and a lot of practice later, she has become one of the best in her age group. Todd said she plans to join the North marching band next year.

“I love band and I love music, all of it, especially jazz,” Todd said. “I also like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.”

Her talents were on full display at the recent Carols of Joy Christmas event at NFMAA. Given a solo opportunity, she nailed it, much to the delight of the near-capacity crowd, her mother, Andrea, and band director, Christina Moffat.

Afterward, she could be seen looking up at the Wall of Honor backstage at the faces of those All-Staters who come before her, imagining her face being there in the near future alongside Brandon Christensen, who went all-state last year as a drummer.

Moffat said Todd has a firm grasp of many instruments.

“She’s done great. She’s focused. She also plays steel drums, violin, everything, then goes home and practices. She’s very dedicated to what she does,” Moffat said. “You come across a talent like this every three or four years. This school is all about the arts and everyone who comes here can’t wait to get here.”