Oregon Hall of Fame Recognizes PAA Student

June 05, 2014 | Liesl Vistaunet

Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) senior Kyle Zimmerman was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) and recognized at the organization’s annual banquet with a $1,000 scholarship.

Zimmerman was one of only four students in the state to be recognized by the OMFOA. The organization selects Oregon high school seniors who are not just accomplished musicians but have shown an unusually serious pursuit of music.

“Kyle is an exceptional student not just because he’s good at music,” says Linda Neel, PAA’s music department chair and the teacher who nominated him. “He seeks out opportunities to learn and grow in music, and he knows the direction he wants to take. That’s unusual.”

Zimmerman’s musical resume is impressive.

Throughout his time at PAA, Zimmerman, who is most accomplished in the saxophone, has taken his own time to learn both the clarinet and flute. He is a leader who organized a PAA jazz band outside of his responsibilities in band. He has volunteered his talent and time at multiple fundraising events, chapels and spiritual events.

But Zimmerman is also musically active away from PAA.  He is a saxophone player with the Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra who recently traveled to the Manhattan School of Music for the Mingus Jazz Festival. Zimmerman was one of only five musicians chosen to play solos with the Mingus Big Band, one of the best big bands in the nation. “It was probably the coolest experience of my life,” he says.

Zimmeran says he’s thankful for the roles that PAA and Neel have played in his life. “Ms. Neel has always been so supportive of everything I do. My music experiences at PAA have given me the freedom to learn new instruments and develop my skills.”

Visit the Oregon Music Hall of Fame website more information.