February 01, 2011

SIUC hosts Heartland Honors Bands-Choir Festival

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Heartland Honor Bands and Choir Festival will bring approximately 225 area high school students to Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Saturday, Feb. 5, for a day of musical communion and concerts.

Some of the best of the area’s high school band and choir members join University ensembles to present two free concerts at Shryock Auditorium as part of the festival. The Heartland Honor Choir and the SIUC Concert Choir take the stage at 1:30 p.m., and the Heartland Honor Symphonic and Concert Bands join the SIUC Wind Ensemble at 3 p.m. Both performances are free.

The high school students in the honors ensembles work with guest conductors, as well as perform with University students during this festival. The ensembles are symphonic band, for juniors and seniors; concert band for freshmen and sophomores, and choir, for freshmen through seniors.

This year’s guest conductors are: Thomas Caneva, director of bands at Ball State University; Richard Suk, associate director of bands at Ohio University; and Justin Hodges, director of choral activities at East Texas Baptist University.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for area high school students to work with nationally respected guest conductors, and to perform outstanding music they may not have the opportunity to perform in their own programs,” Christopher Morehouse, assistant professor and director of bands for SIUC, said.

Susan Davenport, assistant professor and director of choral activities for SIUC, echoed Morehouse’s sentiments.

“They have the opportunity to sing with a larger ensemble than at their home school, and at the same time, they meet other high school students and also University students,” she said. “This festival also introduces the students to the SIUC campus.”

These schools are involved in the Heartland Honors Band and Choir Festival:

• Carbondale Community High School

• Carterville High School

• Christopher High School

• Goreville Community Unit School

• Harrisburg High School

• Herrin High School

• Johnston City High School

• Lewis County High School (Hohenwald, Tenn.)

• Marion High School

• Mount Vernon Township High School

• Murphysboro High School

• New Athens High School

• Norris City-Omaha-Enfield High School

• Pinckneyville Community High School

• Plano High School

• Shawnee High School (Wolf Lake, Ill.)

• South Central High School (Farina, Ill.)

• T. W. Kelly High School (Benton, Mo.)

• Waltonville High School

• Wesclin High School (Trenton, Ill.)

• Windsor Junior/Senior High School