April 4, 2023

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Hosts South Georgia Region Honor Band April 13-15, Wind Ensemble Performs April 14

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University will welcome approximately 300 middle school and high school band students to campus on Thursday, April 13, for the 2023 South Georgia Region Honor Band weekend.

In addition to helping the students improve their musicality by partnering them with accomplished guest conductors and some of the areas most respected educators, Dr. Benjamin Harper, director of bands and assistant professor of music at VSU, said this event is an opportunity for the Department of Music to identify students who may be interested in joining Blazer Nation in the future. It is also an opportunity to show off the highly talented musicians in VSU’s band program.

“The South Georgia Region Honor Band weekend is always great exposure for VSU,” he added. “We are excited to introduce these students to the VSU experience while they are here.”

Representing 50 schools from Macon to the Georgia-Florida line, the South Georgia Region Honor Band students will spend three days perfecting music for a free, public performance at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, in VSU’s Whitehead Auditorium. Rehearsals begin the first night they arrive on campus.

Dr. Shiree Williams, lecturer of band conducting at the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music, will lead the region honor band for students in grades 11 and 12. He is a VSU alumnus, earning a Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2013.

Vincent Rosse, director of bands at Stephenson Middle School in Stone Mountain, Georgia, will lead the region honor band for students in grades nine and 10.

Dr. Andrew Poor, director of bands at South Forsyth Middle School in Cumming, Georgia, will lead the region honor band for middle school students.

As a special treat for the South Georgia Region Honor Band students, the VSU Wind Ensemble, conducted by Harper, will perform live in concert at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14, in Whitehead Auditorium. Admission is free of charge and open to the general public.

The 34-member Wind Ensemble will play the following:

• Fanfare Reimagined! by Atlanta composer William May, featuring Dr. Skye Holmes, VSU assistant director of bands and director of the Blazin’ Brigade, as guest conductor;

• Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble by Anthony Plog, featuring Dr. Lindsay Sparks, VSU assistant professor of flute;

• Liberation by David Maslanka, featuring a collaboration with men from all the VSU choirs; and

• Symphony No. 5 “Elements” by Julie Giroux.

“It will be a memorable occasion for everyone,” Harper shared.

The Wind Ensemble concert will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0oRuzo6FXg.

The South Georgia Region Honor Band concert will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaMkM75Ie94.

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