SU Sixth Annual Honor Band

The Shepherd University Department of Music is pleased to announce its Sixth Annual Honor Band Program to be held Sunday, January 17 through Monday, January 18, 2010. The Honor Band Program continues to grow 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 Monday, January 18, 2010, 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 Keith Taylor. 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.

Honor Band guest conductor Keith Taylor is currently the Music Specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. He became the director of bands at Chantilly High School in 1987 where he directed the Marching Band, Symphonic Winds and Chantilly Jazz. Under Mr. Taylor's direction, the Chantilly Bands received numerous awards and distinctions at festivals and from music organizations, including selection to the National Concert Band Festival, Virginia Honor Band, VMEA Blue Ribbon Music Department and a Grammy Signature School. Downbeat magazine has recognized the Chantilly Jazz as the top high school jazz band in the country on numerous occasions. In 1997 and 1998 the Chantilly Jazz earned a finalist position at the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City where they performed at Avery Fischer Hall. All bands from Chantilly High School have received superior or excellent ratings at District Festivals and regional competitions for twelve years. The Mighty Marching Chargers have garnered consistent superior ratings and many awards at marching band festivals and competitions including finalist band at Bands of America's Regional Competitions and first place in music. In addition, the Chantilly Symphonic Winds has performed Virginia Music Educators Association to represent the state as a feature band at their State Convention. Mr. Taylor graduated from James Madison University Cum Laude in 1985 with a major in Music Education and a minor in Psychology, and received a Masters in Conducting with a concentration in Music Education from George Mason University in May 2005. In addition, Mr. Taylor works as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor, and is President-Elect of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Association. He has held executive positions for the International Association of Jazz Educator's (IAJE), is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Association, and works annually with the Virginia Music Educators Association as a coordinator and an administrator for the state convention.

Dr. Mark McCoy is the Chair of the Department of Music at Shepherd University where he conducts the Shepherd Wind Ensemble, the Shepherd Orchestra and directs the marching band. Dr. McCoy earned a Bachelor's degree from Shepherd (then College), a Master's Degree at the Peabody Conservatory and a Ph.D. at Texas Tech University. Dr. McCoy is very active as a conductor and guest conductor and has led many county, region, district and all-state groups throughout the US. During his tenure, the Shepherd Wind Ensemble has been in great demand, receiving invitations to perform in Ireland, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. In 2005 the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform as part of the concert season at Carnegie Hall. Dr. McCoy was the founding conductor of the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra (now the Shepherd Orchestra). He is also the conductor of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, a professional, resident chamber orchestra that performs regularly in the Eastern Panhandle and has met with wide acclaim. Dr. McCoy was the director of Jazz Studies at Shepherd University for ten years. Under his direction, the Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble played for political leaders in the state of West Virginia and in the United States Congress. Dr. McCoy toured nationally and internationally with his jazz groups, including the "Ellington Centenary Tribute Tour" throughout the US, France and England and the Montreux (Switzerland) Jazz Festival in the summer of 2003.

Recommendations from band directors should be sent in as soon as possible, if they have not already been submitted. 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 Sixth Annual Honor Band is November 30th. For more information or questions call Esperanza Alzona, Operations Manager, Shepherd University Department of Music, 304-876-5711 or, or visit