Tech to Host 1,500 Students for Band Festival

More than 1,500 students representing 32 high school, junior high and middle school bands from around Arkansas will be in Russellville April 1-2 for the 2016 Arkansas Tech University Southern Regional Concert Band Festival, an affiliate of Music for All National Festival presented by Yamaha.

Performances will take place at The Center for the Arts at Russellville High School beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 1, and 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 2. The Arkansas Tech Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Saturday.

More information is available at www.atu.edu/bands/festival.php. Admission will be free and open to the public.

Students in attendance will work with and learn from a panel of five nationally-renowned clinicians: Greg Bimm, director of bands at Marian Catholic High School (Ill.); Dr. Robert M. Carnochan, director of wind ensemble activities, conductor of the Frost Wind Ensemble and professor of music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music; Dr. Gary Green, emeritus director of bands for the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami; John Whitwell, emeritus professor of music and director of bands at Michigan State University; and Dr. J. Eric Wilson, professor of ensembles and conducting and director of bands at Baylor University.

“Our festival is focused on education,” said Dr. Daniel A. Belongia, director of bands and associate professor of music at Arkansas Tech. “Our clinicians will provide recorded and written feedback for each band, and each band will also work with one of the clinicians following their performance.”

Members of the Arkansas Tech music faculty will also be in attendance to provide the K-12 students with master classes in woodwind, brass and percussion.

T.J. Perry, incoming assistant professor of music and studio teacher of trumpet at Arkansas Tech, and Kae Hashimoto Reed, doctoral student in percussion performance at the University of Memphis and drumline instructor at Arkansas Tech, will offer guest performances.

Among the K-12 schools that will be represented at the festival are Abundant Life School, Bentonville Washington Junior High School, Berryville High School, Brinkley High School, Bryant High School, Cabot High School, Camden Fairview High School, Charleston Middle School, Clarksville High School, Dardanelle High School, Dardanelle Middle School, DeWitt High School, Dover High School, Fort Smith Southside High School (symphonic band, concert band and wind symphony), Fort Smith Northside High School, Greenwood High School (symphonic and concert bands), Hazen High School, Lake Hamilton High School, Magazine High School, Mountain Home High School, Paragould High School (symphonic and concert bands), Pottsville Junior High School, Pottsville High School, Russellville High School, Shiloh Christian High School, Springdale High School, Van Buren High School and Watson Chapel High School.

“Congratulations and thank you to each parent who has supported and provided for the music education of their student,” said Belongia. “This work will sustain and inform the development of those students throughout their lifetime.”

Visit www.atu.edu/music and www.atu.edu/bands to learn more about the Arkansas Tech Department of Music and its instrumental music program.

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