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VSU hosts South Georgia region honor band April 11th-13th, wind ensemble performs April 12th

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University will welcome more than 300 middle school and high school band students to campus on Thursday, April 11, for the 2024 South Georgia Region Honor Band weekend.

In addition to helping the students improve their musicality by partnering them with accomplished guest conductors and some of the areas most respected educators, Dr. Benjamin Harper, director of bands, assistant professor of music, and assistant head of the Department of Music at VSU, said this event is an opportunity for the Department of Music to identify students who may be interested in joining Blazer Nation in the future. It is also an opportunity to show off the highly talented musicians in VSU’s band program.

“The South Georgia Region Honor Band weekend is always great exposure for VSU,” he added. “We are excited to introduce these students to the VSU experience while they are here.”

Representing 54 schools, the South Georgia Region Honor Band students will spend three days perfecting music for a free, public performance at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, in VSU’s Whitehead Auditorium. Rehearsals begin the first night they arrive on campus.

Chad Simons, associate director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of New Mexico, will lead the region honor band for students in grades 11 and 12.

Jeffrey Rowser, director of bands at Morgan County High School in Madison, Georgia, will lead the region honor band for students in grades nine and 10.

Atlanta-based composer Tyler Grant will lead the region honor band for middle school students.

As a special treat for the South Georgia Region Honor Band students, the VSU Wind Ensemble, conducted by Harper, will perform live in concert at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 12, in Whitehead Auditorium. Admission is free of charge and open to the general public.

The 45-member Wind Ensemble will play the following:

• Psalm 150 by Jack Stamp;

• Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble by Marilyn Shrude, featuring Wilson Poffenberger, VSU saxophone faculty member;

• Angels in the Architecture by Frank Ticheli, featuring Tamara Hardesty and Susan Boddie, VSU voice faculty members;

• O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen, featuring the VSU Wind Ensemble brass section; and

• Frozen Cathedral by John Mackey.

“It will be a memorable occasion for everyone,” Harper shared.

The Wind Ensemble concert will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmlOo9k_5Iw.

The South Georgia Region Honor Band concert will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQus7PaKb5E.

On the Web:
www.valdosta.edu/music

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