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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment October 21, 2018

1/23/2018 2:23:00 PM
Local students tapped for Honor Band
Honor Band students Max Springer, Dalton Gonzales, Eli Johnson and Hollie Lewis (not pictured: Marieke Jeffrey and Jadynn Mendez). photo provided
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Honor Band students Max Springer, Dalton Gonzales, Eli Johnson and Hollie Lewis (not pictured: Marieke Jeffrey and Jadynn Mendez). photo provided

Six Sisters students get to miss school at the end of January - but they'll be working harder than their average school day.

These students have been selected to play in the Central Oregon Honor Band. This "pop-up" band rehearses for only two days, capped by a public performance the evening of January 26.

Sisters School District Director of Bands Tyler Cranor says participation in the district Honor Band is one of the greatest honors that middle and high school music students can have. That's because participation is based on director recommendation.

"This means I choose the students that I believe will best represent our schools and our music program. Once there, the students get to work with phenomenal guest conductors from around the country, and meet and perform with the very best student musicians that Central Oregon has to offer," said Cranor.

Four eighth-grade students from Sisters Middle School were selected to participate: Hollie Lewis (trumpet), Marieke Jeffrey (clarinet), Eli Johnson (trumpet) and Jadynn Mendez (percussion). Two High School students, who both play trumpet, are attending: 11th-grader Dalton Gonzales and ninth-grader Max Springer.

Honor Band students received sheet music before holiday break so they could practice such selections as "Ave Maria," by Franz Schubert, individually before playing together. Sisters students will join their fellow musicians from Bend, Madras, Redmond, Prineville, and Burns to form two groups - a middle school band comprised of 103 students and a high school band of 113 students.

Musicians meet for the first time this Thursday morning and rehearse all day including an evening rehearsal after a dinner break. On Friday they rehearse again all day until their evening performance. Students will be led by guest conductor Jennifer Brooks-Muller, music director of David Douglas High School in Portland.

Honor Band organizers Craig Olson, band director of High Desert Middle School Band, and Steve Anderson, band director of Bend Senior High School, say students benefit by learning from the expertise of guest conductors along with learning new ideas from other student musicians. Also, they say students have fun preparing and performing new music literature.

"Students enjoy the challenge of expressing themselves musically in a short period of time. With only two days of rehearsal, every minute counts," said Anderson.

The Honor Band performance starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 26, at Bend High School. The concert is free and open to the public; seating fills up quickly.

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