Annual Concert to Feature Top High School Band Students

The department of music and dance will present the 32nd Annual High School Honor Band Concert, featuring more than 280 musicians from three dozen schools, on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall.

The concert is free to the public.

The students, their instructors and the UMass Wind Ensemble will perform works by guest composer Steve Danyew and others.

Coordinated by wind studies director Matthew Westgate, this annual program provides hundreds of New England’s finest wind and percussion students the opportunity to rehearse and perform wind band literature of the highest caliber with Westgate, Minuteman Marching Band director Timothy T. Anderson, music education professor Sara K. Jones, and a special guest composer of national renown.

Danyew is this year’s guest composer. Currently on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music, Danyew is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including prizes from BMI, ASCAP, CBDNA, Ithaca College, Delaware Valley Chorale, Keene State College, and the Society of Composers.

The day will also feature an “educator track” for high school and middle school band conductors, which includes sessions taught by UMass Amherst faculty members Joshua Michal (horn), Jonathan Hulting-Cohen (saxophone) and Felipe Salles (jazz saxophone), a session with Danyew about repertoire and commissioning, a UMass Amherst Wind Ensemble performance, and an afternoon talk presented by the Al Dentino, retired director of bands at Concord-Carlisle Regional High School.