Shepherd University plans its Fifth Annual Honor Band

The Shepherd University Department of Music is pleased to announce its Fifth Annual Honor Band Program to be held Friday, January 9 through Sunday, January 11, 2009. The Honor Band Program is growing in popularity and this year another great turnout is anticipated. Area high school band directors are invited to submit recommendations of their finest students for this fantastic opportunity to represent their school in an experience that will allow them to make great music with other talented and serious musicians their age.

Honor Band participants will create great music with other serious high school musicians from the four-state area, participating in three days of intense music and culminating in a concert on Sunday, January 11, 2009, that is open to the public. They will benefit from master classes and clinics from Shepherd University's outstanding music faculty, as well as guest conductor Chris Allen, Director of Bands and Orchestra at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda Maryland. In addition, participants will be able to being able to ask questions and learn from the fine musicians at Shepherd University, they will learn from a presentation of "How to Apply for College" - a workshop constantly praised by students, parents and teachers alike that is geared to all college-bound students, regardless of their expected major.

Chris Allen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the Tasmanian Conservatory of Music in Australia, and a Masters in Music Education from Catholic University of America. He began his instrumental music experience as the principal trumpet of the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra and later as the principal trumpet of the Tasmanian Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. At Walt Whitman High School, Mr. Allen conducts and supervises all aspects of the orchestra, jazz ensemble, symphonic band, and concert band. He built the orchestral program from thirteen students to an eighty-member symphony orchestra. Each year that Mr. Allen has been at Walt Whitman, the orchestra, symphonic, band and jazz ensemble have received superior ratings at both county and state levels. The orchestra, jazz ensemble, and symphonic band received gold medals for performances in Atlanta, New Orleans, Quebec, Myrtle Beach, Toronto, Boston, and Orlando. In 1995, Mr. Allen was presented the "Orchestra Director of the Year" award for Maryland and Washington, DC, by the American String Teachers Association. He was conductor for the Allegheny County Honors Senior Orchestra and the Prince George's County Senior Orchestra, and has also served as the conductor of the Anne Arundel County and Montgomery County Honors Junior Orchestras. In 1997 Mr. Allen was selected to conduct the Maryland All State Junior Orchestra and in 2006 was chosen to conduct the Maryland All State Junior Concert Band.

Recommendations from band directors should be sent in as soon as possible. Band directors can download a recommendation form at and mail it to SU Music Department: Honor Band, c/o Esperanza Alzona, Operations Manager, P.O. Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV 25443, e-mail to or fax to 304-876-0955. High school seniors who are considering entering the Shepherd University Department of Music are also invited to apply. The application deadline for students to register for the Fifth Annual Honor Band is November 28th. For more information or questions call 304-876-5711 or visit