The first annual Grant County High School Honor Band will join the Taylor University Wind Ensemble to present a concert on Thursday, March 15, at 7 pm, in the Rediger Chapel/Auditorium on the Taylor campus. Selected students from all five Grant County public high school bands—Eastbrook, Marion, Madison-Grant, Mississinewa, and Oak Hill—will participate. Taylor invites the community to this free concert.
Compositions to be performed by the Honor Band include Montana March by Jan Van Der Roost, Yorkshire Ballad by James Barnes, and Foundry by John Mackey. These selections have been chosen by the Grant County band directors as pieces suitable for advanced students to perform with one day of rehearsals in an honor band environment. The 45-member Taylor University Wind Ensemble will perform Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich, and Canticle of the Creatures by James Curnow.
According to Joshua Huff, band director and instrumental music teacher at Marion High School, the desire of the area band directors is to give the more advanced students the opportunity to have a day of music learning in a faster-paced environment where their musicianship can advance in an honor band environment. Joel Walters, band director and instrumental music teacher from Eastbrook High School is assisting with the coordination of the honor band. He said the students have been selected by their directors because of outstanding progress in music as demonstrated by their participation in Solo and Ensemble Contest, leadership in their respective schools, musical talent, and work ethic.
Dr. Al Harrison, Professor of Music and director of instrumental music at Taylor University, is serving as host and guest conductor for this inaugural event. “We are very excited to host these outstanding high school students on the Taylor University campus for a day of music learning, touring the campus, performing in and attending a campus concert, and having interaction with Taylor University students.” he said. Harrison directs both the Taylor University Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble. He has conducted several regional honor bands for the Indiana Bandmasters Association, and in his 40-year career at Taylor, he has traveled with ensembles throughout the Eastern and Southern United States; Nassau, Bahamas; and Cuenca, Ecuador.