Senior discovers music education is her forte
Her ringed fingers danced delicately across the keys as she led the Lewis Middle School seventh and eighth grade choir through their morning warm-ups. She showed only nervous excitement at the prospect of leading the class for the day, the ease in her deep brown eyes and small, calm smile showed that she knew teaching music was what she was meant to be doing.
Senior Isabella Marziello picked up her first instrument, the trombone, at the age of 10. It was then she found her first love: music. Now, she plays seven instruments and practices at least seven hours a week. In order to spend as much time as she can doing what she loves, she has taken on an eight period day, starting with zero period jazz band and ending with seventh period advanced choir. Along with her passion for music, Marziello has nursed a love for theatre throughout her life.
It started back in elementary school, when she and senior Alex Bigelow would scrounge up dimes and pay their younger sisters to join them in their backyard productions. However, she was always told by teachers that she was simply too shy to belong on the stage. Marziello never let them clip her wings and continued to dream of one day becoming an actress. When tasked with creating a career board in sixth grade, it was a no brainer for her that acting was her future, and she created a board draped by red curtains all about her dream job.
Then, in seventh grade, her GATE class took a trip to see PRHS’s production of “Seussical.” As she watched the first show she had ever seen at the high school, she reaffirmed that the theatre department was the place for her.
“I remember seeing the ensemble members, who played the Who’s, and just thinking, ‘you know, I could do that. I don’t have a big role. I just want to be there.’ At that moment I was like, ‘yeah, I want to do theatre when I get to high school,” Marziello said. When she played the title role of Alice in “Alice in Wonderland” earlier this fall, her costume was created from the dress of Gertrude McFuzz, a principal character in the show that served as powerful inspiration for her.
Bigelow, who shared Marziello’s dreams of being on the stage, sat next to her during this show and remembers the moment they realized they belonged there.
“We turned to each other, and I don’t remember our exact words, but it was something along the lines of ‘we’re going to be here and this is what we’re going to do,’” Bigelow said.
While theatre has been an important part of her high school career, it is only one layer of Marziello’s deep well of passion. At this year’s homecoming game, as she warmed up in the Flamson band room and realized it may be her last time standing in what had been a safe place for her throughout middle school, her eyes welled with tears as her mind shifted to her own graduation and the prospect of never performing again after high school. When she voiced her fear to choir teacher Aimee Ware, Ware reminded her that she still had time to change them. From that point on, Marziello knew she wanted to continue on in music, but not in the same capacity as she was currently doing.
“I didn’t want to be a performer in music. I just wanted to be involved in it in some way, so I decided I wanted to do music education,” Marziello said.
After that, she became the TA at Lewis for Ware’s seventh and eighth grade choir, joining them every Tuesday to guide them in vocal warm-ups and lead various sectionals, taking a small portion of the choir aside and ensuring they know their individual parts.
Along with her duties as a TA, Marziello readily snapped up any opportunity to teach, whether it be running sectionals at lunch and over breaks for her fellow “Drowsy Chaperone” cast members or giving up free time to teach friends to read music.
“I’ve gotten to see her in that teaching position. She’s just so good at it and she has the heart for it. It’s her passion and I think that’s really important for a teacher,” said Bigelow, who has witnessed first-hand Marziello’s ability to adapt to student’s needs and find perfect analogies to explain concepts.
“It is apparent throughout her life that Bella has loved the performing arts and she has done everything she can to succeed in each discipline area. Her dedication and drive will help her go far in life. She strives for the highest in all she does, and works for the betterment of the group. Her compassion for others and the empathy she feels are also some of her greatest strengths,” said Ware. She has worked with Marziello for four years and watched as she blossomed in confidence.
With every step she takes in growth, she raises higher towards her goals.
In her first show her freshman year, she climbed a ladder to look at the moon as Rebecca Gibbs in “Our Town” Now, in her last production at PRHS, she’s quite literally dancing among the clouds as a dance ensemble member in “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
And undoubtedly in years to come she will lift her future students to the stars.