The Thirtieth Annual Alabama High School Honor Band Festival will be held at the University of Alabama from February 5-8, 2015. The Alabama Honor Band Festival is an event developed for the purpose of recognizing the achievements of exceptional high school musicians. As in previous years, we will award Alabama Concert Ensemble Participation Scholarships and Million Dollar Band Participation Scholarships. Both music majors and non-music majors are eligible for these awards. We will again award one School of Music Full-Tuition Scholarship (see Scholarship section below), which will be available to a student majoring in music. Registration will be open Monday, October 13, 2014 and will close on Friday, November 21, 2014. NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED AFTER THE REGISTRATION LINK CLOSES!
The festival weekend includes clinics presented by the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Music and concerts presented by the Alabama Symphonic Band, the Alabama Wind Ensemble and the “SPECTRUM” concert, which features several of our wind and percussion ensembles as well as the 400 member Million Dollar Band. This year, we will present four outstanding high school ensembles in concert, along with the five festival honor bands.
THE HONOR BANDS
This year, we will seat five honor bands at the festival. The Festival Wind Ensemble will be a smaller group made up of the top chair winners. The four Festival Honor Bands will be made up of equal strength musicians. Students will be placed alternately in the festival honor bands. Our staff feels that this provides the best experience for all participants.
2015 GUEST CLINICIANS/CONDUCTORS
Festival Wind Ensemble
Professor Steven Davis, Director of Bands
University of Missouri at Kansas City, Conservatory of Music, Kansas City, MO
Steven D. Davis serves as Director of Bands and Wind Ensembles, Professor of Conducting, Conservatory large ensembles chair, opera conducting faculty, and conductor of the Conservatory Wind Symphony at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. He coordinates the graduate program in wind ensemble conducting and oversees all aspects of the UMKC band program. Davis is the founding director of the UMKC Wind Band Teaching Symposium, one of country’s largest conducting workshops. He is conductor of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City’s Symphony Orchestra and newEar, Kansas City’s professional contemporary chamber ensemble. Davis has served as a conductor at the CBDNA National Convention, Midwest Clinic, NAfME National Convention and the Festival of New American Music. He has also conducted numerous summers at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp. As a committed advocate for music education, he has been a guest conductor and teacher at state conferences, and honor band and orchestra festivals in 37 states. He has appeared as a guest artist at the most significant conservatories in Bangkok and Chang Mai, Thailand; Lisbon, Portugal; and Beijing, China. Davis has been invited for residencies and conducting symposiums at major institutions such as the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, Michigan State University, University of Colorado, University of Georgia and Florida State University, among others. Davis is fervently committed to performing new repertoire, and has been praised by prominent contemporary composers including Leslie Bassett, Robert Beaser, Michael Colgrass, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Osvaldo Golijov, Stephen Hartke, David Lang, Zhou Long, James Mobberley, Narong Prangcharoen, Bernard Rands, Paul Rudy, Steven Stucky, Frank Ticheli, and Chen Yi. He has received dedications for over 30 commissioned works. Davis is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association and currently serves as the College Band Directors National Association Southwest Division president. At UMKC, he has been awarded the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Artistry and Scholarship Award. In 2014, Davis will lead the UMKC Conservatory Wind Symphony as a featured ensemble at the Beijing Modern Music Festival and the Tianjin May Festival.
T. Andre Feagin, Doctoral Conducting Associate
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
T. Andre’ Feagin is currently a doctoral conducting associate of wind band studies at The University of Arizona where his duties include guest conducting the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony, conductor of the Symphonic Band and serving as coordinator of the University of Arizona Honor Band Festival. Prior to his arrival at the University of Arizona, he served as assistant professor of music and associate director of bands at the University of Texas at El Paso. As a champion of new music, Feagin has been involved in the commissioning of new works by noted composers as Carl Holmquist, David Peoples, Dominic Dousa and Craig Thomas Naylor. He continues to be in high demand as a guest conductor and travels regularly as a clinician of regional and All-State bands throughout the United States and Canada. He has presented clinics on music education and conducting at local, regional and national forums. In addition, he is a published contributing author in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series and has contributed to the Instrumentalist magazine. Feagin has appeared as a guest conductor with the United States Military Academy Band at West point and the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America with the West Point Conducting Workshop and Young Conductors Mentor Project, respectively. A Golden Apple Teacher Award recipient, he also served as director of bands at Watkins Overton High School in Memphis, TN where his ensembles were a consistent Tennessee Music Educators Association Sweepstakes Award recipient. In 2011 he was honored by the Mayor and City Council of El Paso, Texas with the declaration of November 1st as T. André Feagin Day. Feagin holds the Master of Music degree in instrumental wind conducting from the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis and a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance. His conducting mentors include Gregg I. Hanson, Eugene Migliaro Corporon and Kraig A. Williams. He has studied clarinet with James Gholsen, Denise Gainey and Steven Cohen. Feagin has taught the Memphis Sound, The Academy, Carolina Crown and Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps in capacities ranging from brass caption head to executive director. He is a former conductor of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (1998-2001), recipient of the DCI Jim Jones Leadership Award (2000), and the Division III Director of the Year (2007). Currently, his concert and marching arrangements as well as drill designs can be seen throughout the United States by some of the nations finest drum corps, high school and collegiate ensembles. Feagin’s professional memberships include the National Association for Music Education, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) and honorary membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Dr. Nicole Gross, Director of Athletic Bands
Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
Dr. Nicole Gross is the Director of Athletic Bands at Indiana State University where she is responsible for directing the Marching Sycamores, The Pride of Indiana, the Indiana State Sycamore “Blue Thunder” Basketball Pep Band, and the University Concert Band. Her teaching duties include marching band procedures and courses within the music history elective curriculum. Dr. Gross served on the faculty of the University of Dayton as the Director of the University of Dayton Marching Band and Concert Band. Prior to Dayton, she served on the band faculty at West Virginia University where she was the Assistant Director of the Pride of West Virginia Marching Band, the WVU Pep Band, and was a guest conductor with the various University concert ensembles. As a public school band director she instructed instrumental music for seven years in southwestern Virginia. Dr. Gross is an active guest conductor, adjudicator and drill writer in the mid-Atlantic region. She has been a staff member with Mid-Atlantic Band Front Camp from Richmond, VA since 1992 and has served as the head instructor in the drum major area since 1998. Dr. Gross has recently completed doctoral studies in conducting at the University of South Carolina where she was a student of Scott Weiss. While at South Carolina she served as a graduate assistant with the band program including the Mighty Sound of the Southeast, the Carolina Band and Concocktion basketball pep band. Dr. Gross received her bachelor’s degree in music education and master’s of music degree in conducting from West Virginia University where she studied with Don Wilcox, Larry Christianson, and John Hendricks.
Dr. Shawn Vondren, Assistant Director of Bands
Ball State University, Muncie, IN
Shawn D. Vondran is assistant director of bands and assistant professor of music performance at Ball State University. His responsibilities at Ball State include conducting the Symphony Band, directing the “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band, and teaching courses in instrumental conducting and repertoire. Prior to his appointment at Ball State, Vondran served as the associate director of bands at Western Illinois University and Youngstown State University, respectively. He began his professional teaching career at Mentor High School in Ohio, where his concert, jazz, and marching bands consistently received superior ratings and accolades for their outstanding performances during his four-year tenure. Recognized for his excellence in teaching and dedication to students while at Ball State, Vondran is the most recent recipient of the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Teaching Award. In addition, the Ball State University Symphony Band was selected to perform at the 2012 Indiana Music Education Association Conference and will perform at that event again in 2014. During his career as a conductor, Vondran has worked with a number of notable composers in the preparation, performance, and/or recording of their works for the wind band medium. Recent collaborations include John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, David Maslanka, Michael Daugherty, Steven Bryant, and Joel Puckett. A champion for the creation and performance of new music, Vondran has been involved in several commissioning projects since arriving at Ball State University. Vondran brings to his teaching extensive performance experience as a conductor, trombone and euphonium player, and classically trained vocalist. He has performed with and conducted numerous groups in venues throughout the United States, Brazil, and Europe, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, Symphony Hall in Chicago, Severance Hall in Cleveland, and Knight Concert Hall in Miami. An active clinician and adjudicator, Vondran maintains membership in the Music Educators National Conference, College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, and the College Music Society. He has been recognized for his musical achievements and academic scholarship with his induction into the National Music Honor Society of Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and the Mortar Board National Collegiate Honor Society. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, and is an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma. Vondran received his doctor of musical arts degree in instrumental conducting, with an emphasis in music education, from the University of Miami (FL). In addition to studying conducting and repertoire during his doctoral residency, Vondran completed his master of music degree in instrumental conducting at Youngstown State University and earned his bachelor of music education degree (magna cum laude) at The Ohio State University.
Dr. David W. Vandewalker, Assistant Director of Bands
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
As a veteran conductor and music educator, David W. Vandewalker is nationally recognized for his passionate pursuit of artistry; he is dedicated to establishing and maintaining a high standard of excellence in performance musicality, the modern wind band clarity of sound, and developing well-prepared future educators. Dr. Vandewalker, a third generation band director, received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University, earned his Master of Arts in Education degree from Central Michigan University and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Boston University. He is the assistant director of bands at Georgia State University, where his primary responsibilities include conducting the University Band, teaching the Marching Band and directing the Basketball Pep Band. He is also the music director and conductor of the Metro Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble (MAYWE), hosted at Georgia State University. Prior to his appointment at GSU, Dr. Vandewalker taught for 23 years in both middle and high school settings in Texas and Georgia. As a recipient of the Sousa Foundation’s “Sudler Flag of Honor,” the Harrison Band (GA) program, under his leadership, was distinguished as one of the strongest, respected, and well-rounded band programs in the United States. As a recognized mentor for student teachers and new teachers in a team-teaching environment for over a decade, Dr. Vanderwalker enjoys the opportunity to guide young educators in honing their skills and knowledge in wind conducting, literature, design, arranging, leadership, booster management, wind band pedagogy and ensemble skills. David W. Vandewalker is a nine-time recipient of the National Band Association’s prestigious Citation of Excellence Award, a three-time recipient of National Wind Band Honors Awards in the New Music category, and is recognized in multiple editions of Who’s Who Among American Teachers. He has served Cobb County and the Georgia State Board of Education as a lead curriculum writer for band as well as GMEA as chair for the State Music Selection Committee for Band. Additionally, he is a previously nationally elected high school representative on the board of directors for the National Band Association; presently, he serves as a member at large on the NBA Board of Directors, the Sudler Flag of Honor Selection Committee for the Sousa Foundation, and the advisory board of the National Brass Symposium. As a conductor, Dr. Vandewalker has led highly acclaimed concerts before the Midwest Clinic (two times), the Music for All National Concert Band Festival (three times), and the Georgia Music Educators Association (two times) and the College Band Directors Association/National Band Association Southern Division Conference. Performances under his direction have won the praise of such notable composers/conductors as Steven Bryant, John Mackey, Scott McAllister, Richard Clary, Ray Cramer, Michael Haithcock, Stephen Peterson, Kevin Sedatole and John Whitwell. The Harrison Marching Band-under Dr. Vandewalker’s leadership as artistic director and director of bands-was a 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011 Bands of America Regional AAA Champion, a Grand Nationals Finalist, performed in the 2007 St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Dublin, Ireland) and the 2009 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The marching band also participated in Hollywood productions Drumline and Radio. Dr. Vandewalker is the author of Boosters to the Rescue, 101 Ways to Harmonize the Madness for Music Educators, Foundations for Wind Band Clarity, Foundations for Wind Band Clarity Instructional DVD, and Everyday Stuff Every Director Needs to Know: A Quick Start Guide published by Vision Publications. He is a highly sought staff development clinician frequently presenting at the Midwest Clinic, Georgia Music Education Association In-Service Conference, Texas Bandmaster Association Conference, Music For All Summer Symposium, Smith Walbridge Marching Band Directors Workshop, various state and regional conferences, and graduate seminar lecturer series throughout the southeastern United States. He is affiliated with professional organizations that include the National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, College Band Directors National Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, National Association for Music Education, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Georgia Music Educators Association. Dr. Vandewalker and his wife, Pamela, reside in Marietta, Ga. where she is Minister of Worship Programming and Creativity at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church.
2015 GUEST ENSEMBLES
Adairsville High School Symphonic Band, Adairsville, Georgia
Dr. Kerry Bryant, Director
East Coweta High School Wind Ensemble, Sharpsburg, Georgia
Robert Owens, Director
East Hall High School Wind Symphony, Gainesville, Georgia
J. Craig Cantrell, Director
Spain Park High School Symphonic Band, Hoover, Alabama
Chris Neugent, Director
SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS
Students will be selected by a committee of University of Alabama School of Music faculty. Information included on the student application (resume) and the band director’s recommendation will be the primary criteria used to select participants. In most cases, the committee will use the student resume and band director recommendation as sole sources of information about the students. Students and directors are encouraged to complete the resume and recommendation in detail and be sure that the required information is available to us prior to the close of registration. Each director who submits a nomination is guaranteed that at least one student from each school will be selected to participate in the festival. Students selected to participate must attend all rehearsals, master classes, and performances during the Honor Band Festival. A list of students chosen to participate in the 2015 Alabama Honor Band Festival will be posted on this website by Monday, December 16, 2014.
The Alabama Honor Band does not provide housing or meals. Arrangements for housing, supervision, transportation and meals should be taken care of by the high school director. For the 2015 Alabama Honor Band, students chosen to participate will be required to pay a participation fee of $75.00, which includes admission to all clinics, concerts and includes a Festival Participation Pin. This participation fee will be due AFTER students have been notified that they have been selected to participate in the Alabama Honor Band. Much more detailed information will be available to those students selected to participate in the festival.
THE ALABAMA HONOR BAND FULL TUITION SCHOLARSHIP
A full tuition scholarship will be awarded at the final Festival Concert on Sunday to a qualified student. This award is based upon a superior level of performing ability as evidenced in the student’s Honor Band placement audition, band rehearsals and the recommendations of the auditioning faculty members and conductors. No additional audition is necessary. The Alabama Honor Band Full Tuition Scholarship pays all tuition and academic fees for four years and is limited to music majors. It does require participation in selected University of Alabama ensembles.
ALABAMA CONCERT BAND PARTICIPATION SCHOLARSHIPS
These scholarships, in varying amounts, are awarded to incoming students whose standard of performance is commensurate with membership in the University of Alabama concert ensembles (Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Concert Band) who have a sincere interest in outstanding band performance. These awards are based upon a superior level of performing ability as evidenced in the student’s Honor Band placement audition, band rehearsals and the recommendation of the auditioning faculty members and conductors. The Honor Band Chair Placement Audition is used to qualify students for these awards. No additional audition is necessary. These scholarships, in varying amounts, are awarded for the fall semester with the understanding that the student participates in one of the concert ensembles during the fall and spring semester. These awards are based on talent and the instrumentation needs of the University Bands, and the awards can be renewable for up to four years. These awards are available to qualified students regardless of major.
MILLION DOLLAR BAND SCHOLARSHIP AUDITIONS
Million Dollar Band scholarships are available for any University of Alabama student regardless of major. Scholarships are awarded through auditions and those who attend the UA Honor Band Festival can audition on Thursday, February 5, 2015 beginning at 8:00 AM and will end at 11:00 AM. Honor Band students wishing to audition for MDB scholarships should visit the MDB Scholarship Information page for a step-by-step registration process BEFORE you arrive to campus for the Festival and audition. ONCE THE AUDITION TIMES FILL UP, NO OTHER AUDITIONS WILL BE SCHEDULED FOR HONOR BAND WEEKEND. The MDB Scholarship audition is a separate audition from the Honor Band chair placement audition as well as the School of Music scholarship audition (Music Majors only). Students auditioning for MDB Scholarship may use the Honor Band chair placement etude as their prepared piece. Honor Band students who wish to audition for MDB Scholarships must complete the registration process, including scheduling an audition time on Thursday, February 5, 2015. The auditions will not start until 8:00 AM the morning of Honor Band check-in. The MDB Scholarship information page can be found HERE.