Thursday, March 22, 2012
Six Westminster College music majors participated in the 65th annual Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band Festival March 9-11 at California University of Pennsylvania.
Students, who are nominated by their band directors, must submit a résumé of performance experience, solo repertoire performed, and participation in their current program. A selection committee meets in late November or early December to make the final selections for the band that includes approximately 100 students from about 30 colleges and universities across the state.
Guest conductor for this year's festival was Dr. Frank Wickes, professor emeritus and former director of bands at Louisiana State University. Wickes chose a program that included: "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key; Arthur Davenport's "Salute to P.M.E.A.;" Donald Hunsberger's arrangement of "Festive Overture" by Dmitri Shostakovich; Frank Byrne's arrangement of "The Diplomat March" by John Philip Sousa; "Italian Rhapsody" by Julie Giroux; and John Krance's arrangement of "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff.
Following an initial rehearsal, students auditioned for chair placements within their section. First-time Westminster participants did well: Aaron McAfee earned the principal alto saxophone chair, Cody Ortz earned first-chair honors in the trumpet section, and Kelsey Steele was selected first chair in the trombone section.
Sara Eliser, a second-time participant, was selected as oboe soloist in "Carmina Burana."
Additional Westminster participants were Jerianne Larson and John Stumpff in the clarinet section.
"I really enjoyed going, working hard on the music, and just playing," Larson said. "By the time the festival was over, I had gotten to know musicians from other colleges. It was obvious that Westminster knows what it's doing and it showed."
Contact Dr. R. Tad Greig, associate professor, director of bands, and chair of Westminster's Department of Music, at (724) 946-7279 or email for additional information.
Westminster's participation in the festival was supported by travel/presentation grants from Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning.
The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education. The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences. Visit the Drinko website for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.