The Shepherd University Department of Music is excited to announce its Fourteenth Annual Honor Band program to be held during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend: Saturday, January 13 through Monday, January 15, 2018. This event provides meaningful music experiences for high school upper class students. The Honor Band Program continues to grow in popularity, and we anticipate another great turnout this year!
The Shepherd Honor Band weekend will give students opportunities to:
- Create great music with other serious high school musicians from the four-state area
- Perform in a culminating concert that is open to the public and always sold out
- Benefit from master classes, performances, and clinics by outstanding applied faculty
- Ask questions and learn from the fine musicians at Shepherd University
- Enjoy performances by the Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble, chamber ensembles, and Wind Ensemble.
Returning for 2018 is the Shepherd University Honor Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Kurtis Adams, Director of Jazz Studies at Shepherd University.
AUDITIONS for band and seating placements will be held upon arrival to campus in January for ALL students registered for Honor Band. Shepherd faculty will conduct auditions to place students into ONE of the three (3) ensembles:
- Gold Honor Band (Wind Ensemble)
- Blue Honor Band (Symphonic Band)
- Honor Jazz Ensemble.
Every student will be placed in one of these three ensembles after auditions. Once placed, each student will participate in that particular ensemble for the entire Honor Band weekend.
All students are required to prepare the Honor Band audition on their concert instrument. The auditions will consist of a brief prepared excerpt* and sight-reading.
* Audition materials will be posted here by November 1, 2017.
An additional audition for those interested in the Honor Jazz Ensemble will consist of a brief prepared excerpt, sight-reading, and an optional improvisation on a blues. Bass players will need to demonstrate ability to walk a bass line over a set of chord changes. Drummers will be asked to demonstrate a variety of styles. Instrumentation for the Honor Jazz Ensemble will include 5 saxophones (AATTB), 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, and rhythm (piano, bass, drums). Additional rhythm section instruments (guitar or vibes) will be considered if there is a qualified auditioning student. All students must be prepared and able to participate in one of the concert bands should they not be selected for the jazz ensemble.
The success of the Shepherd University Honor Band program is made possible through the recommendations from area high school band directors of their finest students. Although the students will be seated by audition, their teacher’s signature as an endorsement is required on the students’ registration forms.
In order to assure students the 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, students will not be admitted without a Band Director or Instrumental Music teacher signature on their Student Registration Form.
Honor Band Registration Forms were sent to area high school band directors in September and are available online at: 2018 SU Honor Band Registration Form
Registration Forms should be mailed with payment to Shepherd University Music Department: Honor Band P.O. Box 5000
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
The Honor Band registration fee includes meals at the Shepherd University Dining Hall and an option of two nights of hotel lodging for participants. Acceptance is based on a first-come basis. Sections will not be overloaded.
The registration deadline is November 1, 2017.
Dr. Scott Hippensteel is Director of Bands at Shepherd University and conductor of the Shepherd Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony and Ram Band. Dr. Hippensteel completed his undergraduate degree at Indiana University and earned his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Wind Conducting and Music Education from Ball State University.
Dr. Kurtis Adams, Director of Jazz Studies at Shepherd University, completed his graduate studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, and the 9th and Lincoln Orchestra.