290 high school students to visit Huntington campus for three-day music festival

Marshall University’s Huntington campus will “adopt” 290 teens this week when the High School Honor Band Festival kicks off Thursday, Feb. 4.

The three-day festival allows in- and out-of-state high school students a chance to learn from world-renowned musicians in workshops and master classes, train with guest conductors from around the country and explore the music program at Marshall, according to Dr. Adam Dalton, director of athletic bands at Marshall.

“The Honor Band Festival gives area musicians three days to get to know Marshall University and vice versa,” Dalton said. “Students audition and are divided into three ensembles within the first few hours, and just 24 hours later they perform a one-time-only performance for an audience in Smith Music Hall. I love seeing students come together for the weekend to work hard to make music.”

Guest clinicians for the three ensembles are Bill Drury, associate conductor of Wind Ensembles, New England Conservatory of Music; John Brewington, music director and conductor of the Tidewater Winds; and Jesse Nolan, visiting assistant professor of percussion at Marshall and former music director with The Blue Man Group.

Back-to-back rehearsals, master classes and even an opportunity for interested high school seniors to audition for the university’s music program will take place Friday. A guest honor ensemble at 3 p.m. Friday will join concert bands from Fairland High School in Proctorville, Ohio, and George Washington High School in Charleston.

The Marshall Symphonic Band will perform at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, and be joined in concert by the Marshall University Wind Symphony at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, in Smith Recital Hall.

The three student ensembles–Marco’s Marauders, Thundering Herd Band and John Marshall Band–will take the stage beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, for finale performances.

All concerts listed are free and open to the public, although seating is limited in Smith Recital Hall. For more information about the Honor Band Festival, visit www.marshall.edu/band/honorband or call Dalton at 304-696-2345.