School of Music to host all-district band festival

Western Carolina University’s School of Music will host the 2008 Western Regional All-District Band festival on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8-9.

“For band students, being chosen to participate in the All-District Band is one of the highest recognitions you can receive,” said John T. West, WCU’s director of bands. The All-District Band is made up of four bands– middle school concert and symphonic bands, and grades 9-10 and 11-12 bands. Each band is chosen based on a highly competitive audition process. “In some sections, there may be more then 100 students auditioning for 10 spots,” said West.

More than 350 middle and high school students from 14 counties in Western North Carolina have been selected to participate in the All-District Band festival. The students will come to WCU to spend all of Friday and Saturday rehearsing with guest clinicians and will end the clinic with a gala performance in the main hall of the Fine and Performing Arts Center Saturday starting at 4 p.m. There is no admission charge and the public is invited.

This year’s guest clinicians are Bruce Dinkins, director of bands at Bowie High School in Austin, Texas; Stanley Michalski, professor emeritus of music at Clarion University in Pennsylvania and coordinator of music for the Diocese of Charlotte; Amy Acklin, doctoral candidate at Florida State University; and Clif Dodson, director of bands at Cane Creek Middle School in Asheville.

In between rehearsals on Friday afternoon, students will get to hear a performance by the internationally acclaimed Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet at 2:45 p.m. At 8 p.m., the WCU Wind Ensemble will perform a variety of music, including “The Hound of Heaven” by James Syler, “American Hymn Song Suite” by Dwayne Milburn, “La Mezquita de Cordoba (The Mosque of Cordoba)” by Julie Giroux and the “Percussion Concerto” by Robert Jager, featuring WCU faculty member Mario Gaetano as soloist.

For more information, call the School of Music office at (828) 227-7242.