Young Talent at the 30th Annual Carolina Band Festival & Conductors Conference

Meagan Bess
Staff Writer

PC: UNCG School of Music

On Feb. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m., UNCG’s School of Music presented the 30th annual Carolina Band Festival & Conductors Conference.

During the conference, between 100 to 200 students, as well as 50 music educators, were given the opportunity to participate in this historic festivity. During the selection process, student applicants had to submit their resumes focusing on their performing experience, musical studies and a recording of them playing their instrument. Over 300 motivated students submitted applications and recordings this year.

After a highly competitive process, around 180 students were given the opportunity to participate. The students selected were from six states including North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Though honors band festival took place this past Saturday, their itinerary took place starting on Thursday, with their first rehearsal on Friday consisting of additional music rehearsals, lunch and dinner in UNCG’s Dining Hall.

The honor band conductors were Dr. Catherine Rand and Colonel Michael Colburn.

The talented young musicians consisted of ninth and tenth graders who were a part of the concert band, while the eleventh and twelfth graders made up the symphonic band.

Before the concert began, young performers were seated in UNCG’s Auditorium in formal attire with a variety of classic band instruments such as flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, trombone and percussion.

While on stage, the concert band conductor, Rand, had the concert band members perform warm up exercises. Throughout the concert, Dr. Rand introduced each piece, its importance from the writer and a description of the song’s musicality.

Six pieces were performed, including “Second Prelude” by George Gershwin and “Ampartio Roca” by Jamie Texidor and arranged by Gary Fagan.

There was a short intermission that allowed the symphonic band to gather on stage. Colburn came to the stage instructing the students through all five melodies. Some of the numbers performed included “Conga del Fuego Nuevo” by Arturo Márquez and arranged by Oliver Nickel, as well as “Second Suite in F for Military Band” by Gustav Holst.

This group was just as enthusiastic as their younger peers, enjoying their ability shown onstage through the tapping of their feet, smiles, swaying, and nodding of their heads.

The opportunity for each of these students to partake in music as a possible major or minor in the future is evident. All of the students’ confidence was heightened in only three days. Not only were these students in the honors band, they were able to attend special clinics presented by UNCG School of Music’s instrumental music faculty.

Faculty members present during the event include Dr. Erika Boysen, flute, Dr. Ashley Barret, oboe, Dr. Anthony Taylor and Dr. Andy Hudson, clarinet, Dr. Michael Burns, bassoon, Dr. Steven Stusek, saxophone, Prof. Mark Clodfelter, trumpet, Dr. Abigail Pack, horn, Dr. Randy Kohlenberg, trombone, Dr. Justin Worley, tuba and euphonium and Dr. Eric Willie, percussion.

Though students participated in the Carolina Band Festival, teachers and band directors participated in a conducting workshop called the Carolina Conductors Conference. The conference also began on Thursday, Feb. 14 with lectures, demonstrations and clinic sessions.

Participants were able to observe Dr. Mallory Thompson, the Director of Bands at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

This opportunity gives young artists and faculty the opportunity to rekindle the spark they found in music the first time they began the steps to calling themselves musical performers. If you know any high school band students in North Carolina or from the other five selected states, spread the word about this rewarding opportunity right here at UNCG.




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