February 04, 2016

Heartland Honor Band, Choir event is Feb. 11-13

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Music students from a dozen area high schools will attend the annual Heartland Honor Band and Choir event at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, which will include music performances that bring them all together as a single band and a single choir. 

The event runs Feb. 11-13, with performances open to the public on Feb. 13. The Heartland Honor Choir and the SIU Concert Choir take the Shryock Auditorium stage at 1:30 p.m. and the Heartland Honor Band and SIU Wind Ensembles take over at 3 p.m. 

The annual event offers at least three particular advantages to all the students who participate. One, high school students from all over the area come together and, in a very short period of time, practice and learn together well enough to perform as a unit in a matter of days. Also, the students learn what playing in a large ensemble is like; even for the bigger schools, the Heartland Band and Choir combine to form a larger ensemble than most have experienced. And they get the benefit of working with college students, college faculty and visiting conductors. 

This year’s guest band conductor is Randall Coleman, associate director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of Alabama, where he serves as conductor of the Alabama Symphonic Band, the associate conductor of the Alabama Wind Ensemble, and the co-director of the famous Million Dollar Band, one of the most highly regarded university marching bands in the country. 

The guest choir conductor is Wendy Moy, director of choral activities and music education at Connecticut College, and co-founder and co-artistic director of the Chorosynthesis Singers. Moy has directed choral ensembles from kindergarten through university and community levels and on both coasts. She’s known as an advocate for collaboration in the arts. 

Both guest conductors will also work with SIU students during their stay at SIU. 

These schools are participating in the Heartland Honor Choir:

Benton High School

Carbondale Community High School

Christopher High School

Herrin High School

Murphysboro High School

Pinckneyville Community High School

These schools are participating in the Heartland Honor Band:

Carbondale Community High School

Carterville High School

Christopher High School

Goreville High School

Hamilton High School

Harrisburg High School

Johnston City High School

Kelley High School (Mo.)

Pinckneyville Community High School