February 07, 2008
SIUC to host Heartland Honor Band Festival
CARBONDALE, Ill. — High school students snag the limelight at the Heartland Honor Band Festival this Saturday, Feb. 9, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The free concert begins at 3 p.m. at Shryock Auditorium.
Christopher Morehouse, bands coordinator and director of the Carnegie Hall-bound SIUC Wind Ensemble, said there were more than 250 nominations from 26 area high schools to fill the 150 available spots in the two honors bands performing during the festival. The White Band is a freshmen and sophomore band, and the Maroon Band is juniors and seniors, he explained.
High school band directors nominate students for the Heartland Honor Band Festival. Students participate in master classes and workshops – and audition for seats in the performing band. Morehouse selects music based on the available nominations. Then he sends the music to the high schools for their representatives to learn. When they arrive at SIUC for the festival weekend, they should have familiarized themselves with the music. However, festival weekend is the first time they play it in a group.
"We try to make it a really good experience," Morehouse said. "They know the music – they just haven't played it in an ensemble. This is an especially good experience for students from smaller schools where the bands may not have full instrumentation. The festival is designed partly so students from these smaller schools can have the experience of playing in a large ensemble."
The School of Music also uses the festival as a recruiting tool. Students work closely with music faculty during the festival and have a chance to explore the campus a little bit.
"We hope it will entice them to want to come to school here and to keep playing music," Morehouse said.
The Saturday concert includes a guest performance by the SIUC Wind Ensemble. Morehouse promised a "slow piece" and an upbeat collection of Yiddish dances – an "audience-friendly mix," he said.
Eric Romback-Kendall from the University of New Mexico is the guest conductor for the Maroon Band. While he is here, he will also work with the SIUC Symphonic Band and the SIUC Wind Ensemble. The guest conductor for the White Band is John Bridges, a retired professor who continues to work with students as adjunct faculty at Malone College in Canton, Ohio.
Participating schools and their band directors are:
Brussels High School, Janice Eddleman
Carbondale Community High School, Gregory Townsend
Carterville High School, Todd Norrington
Christopher High School, Kendal Bridges
Columbia High School, Craig Ryterski
Cumberland High School, Kali Strong
Effingham High School, Brad Wallace
Frankfort Community High School, Mark Wayer
Goreville Community Unit District, Barbara Smith
Herrin High School, J. T. Lewis
Johnston City High School, Nicole Hodges
Marion High School, Chuck Williamson, director; Todd Graham, assistant director
Mattoon High School, Todd Black
Mount Vernon Township High School, Frank Winchester
Murphysboro High School, Michael Moreland
Norris City–Omaha–Enfield High School, Charla Lewis
Oblong High School, Ken Strieby
Pinckneyville Community High School, Stephen Cannedy
Pope County High School. Krista Clayton
Sandoval High School, William Reynolds
South Central High School, Elizabeth Warren
Trico High School, Keith Shasteen
Wayne City High School, LeAnn Johnson
Wesclin High School, Rodney Washburn
Windsor Junior-Senior High School, Jennifer Keefe
Graves County High School, Laura Hill
Thomas W. Kelly High School, Keith Kyle