Top band talent from 28 high schools around the region will gather at the University of Rhode Island on Saturday, Jan. 21 for the Southern New England Honors Band Festival. The public is invited to come and listen in for free in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall at 105 Upper College Road, Kingston.
This year’s one-day festival offers two opportunities for the public to enjoy the music –first during open rehearsals in the concert hall during the day, and second in the evening at 8 p.m. when the Festival Honors Band will present their concert, under the direction of this year’s festival guest conductor, Richard Mayne from the University of Northern Colorado.
The concert will be shared again with The American Band, the second oldest community band in the USA, a combination that was very successful last year. The American Band was originally founded as a brass band in 1837, and is conducted by URI Music Department faculty member Gene J. Pollart, with Brian Cardany as the assistant conductor. There will be no URI faculty recital this year.
Cardany, URI’s Assistant Director of Bands and Head Coach and Director of Athletic Bands, coordinates this festival each year. More than 70 students selected to represent their schools are introduced to nationally and internationally-recognized performers and teachers, experience a college-level music environment, and meet and share their talents with fellow musicians from other schools in a cooperative effort. For this year’s concert, they will work on and perform Kirkpatrick Fanfare by Andrew Boysen Jr., Homage: Three Tapestries by David Holsinger, Hymn of Brotherhood by Egbert van Groningen, Symphonic Dance #3 "Fiesta" by Clifton Williams, and Circus Days by Karl King.
The number of schools sending students to the festival has increased over last year. Participating for 2012 are Hingham, East Bridgewater, Norwood, Canton, and Medway High Schools plus Whitinsville Christian School in Massachusetts; and Cranston East, Cranston West, Portsmouth, Coventry, Mt. Hope, Scituate, Narragansett, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Chariho, Johnston, Middletown, Burrillville, Exeter-West Greenwich, North Smithfield, Smithfield, Johnston, Cumberland and Westerly high schools, plus The Prout School, Lincoln School, and LaSalle Academy.
The URI Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center, off Bills Road.
For more information contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check the website www.uri.edu/music.