Some of my best memories of my life so far have come from the COTA festival and being a COTA Cat. Being in the ensemble in such close proximity with clinicians brought in by the staff such as Phil Woods, David Liebman, and Bob Dorough has really pushed me to work harder in music. Just recently I went on vacation to the Jersey Shore and Ken Brader was playing one night there and I coincidentally went to the small park that he was playing at, and I felt like I could approach him and talk to him, but only because of my experience with the COTA Cats. I'll never forget the times that I spent back stage with all of the world class musicians at the festival, and the time that I spent on the side of the stage sitting on the grass with my friends while those same great musicians were playing, mezmerizing us all with their ability. The COTA Cats and the COTA Festival really have changed my life, enriching it significantly, and I thank the directors for allowing me to participate in such a great ensemble for these past four years.