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Grant County’s public high schools join together to form Honor Band

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August 03, 2017
Grant County’s band directors are teaming up to bring a new opportunity to local music students: the Grant County Public High School Honor Band.
 
The Grant County Honor Band will feature some of the top music students at each of Grant County’s five public high schools, Eastbrook, Madison-Grant, Marion, Mississinewa, and Oak Hill. It will also feature a distinguished guest conductor, who will help the musicians hone their skills as they prepare for a special performance. For the inaugural year, Dr. Al Harrison of Taylor University will be the guest conductor, and a performance will be held in mid-March at Taylor.
 
Band directors from all five schools have been collaborating to make this opportunity possible for the talented young musicians around the county.
 
“Grant County is quickly becoming a recognized area for instrumental music, and we are so thankful to be a part of this event,” said Marion High School Director of Bands Joshua Huff. “I'm also looking forward to interacting with the other county band directors and be a part of the development of this event, which we hope to make into an annual tradition.”
 
Ryan Wamhoff, band director at Oak Hill High School, said the idea has created a buzz.
 
“There is great energy and comradery amongst the Grant County band directors,” he said. “Each of us can be excited about the growth and direction of our programs as well as those of our peers. It's great to see music programs not only surviving but thriving here in Grant County.” 
 
Joel Walters, band director at Eastbrook Jr./Sr. High School said that this new event will be a great opportunity for the students and the community.
 
“This is something that we as directors look forward to, and I am excited to see what comes from this collaboration,” he said. “The event will be an exciting way to recognize the hard working music students in our community.”
 
Cindy Walker, assistant band director at Mississinewa High School, said this opportunity will help the area’s young musicians grow.
 
“The Grant County Honor Band will be a great experience for our students. Not only will the kids get a chance to play some great music, but they'll get to rehearse with other outstanding musicians from their own area. It's a great way for our kids to improve,” she said. “The hope is they'll bring their knowledge and experiences back to other students in their respective bands.”
 
That experience is a key part of why the band directors have been working to develop this opportunity, Huff said.
 
“I'm extremely excited for my students at Marion to interact with some fantastic musicians from the other county schools,” he said. “One of the things we always tell our students is that while we may be rivals in athletics, music is the common bond that we all share. This will be a fantastic event for our students to learn from Dr. Harrison and the other directors. It will also be a chance for our county to come together and enjoy a concert of wonderful music.”
 
The newest member of the group of directors, Mykayla Neilson, recently named the director of Mississinewa’s band, said she was thrilled with this new opportunity.
 
“Not only am I honored to be a part of such a group,” she said, “but I am beyond excited to celebrate talented musicians in the Grant County area.”
 
Kristin Caudill, band director at Madison-Grant Jr./Sr. High School, expressed hope for the future of the event and the opportunities it offers.
 
“I'm excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the other Grant County band directors and to showcase the excellent band programs throughout Grant County,” she said. “This will be an excellent opportunity for our students to learn and perform with their peers from other Grant County schools. I'm looking forward to offering this opportunity to Madison-Grant High School students this year and seeing where this honor band goes in the future.”
 
More details will be released about the performance as the event nears.
Contact:
Patricia Gibson, Director of Communications
pgibson@marion.k12.in.us, (765) 662-2546 x121