50th band fest slated this weekend

By Gary Budzak

January 15, 2014

For the 50th year in a row, talented young musicians will be participating in the annual President’s High School Band Festival at Ohio Wesleyan University.

The two-day event, consisting of workshops, scholarship auditions and a concert, will be held Jan. 17-18.

“It allows high school students from central Ohio, around the state and even surrounding states to come to Ohio Wesleyan and interact with our faculty and with our music students,” OWU spokesman Cole Hatcher told The Gazette. “They can hone their craft, and ask any questions they might have about music education.”

Hatcher said the students may have an audition with the Music Department if they are considering admission to OWU, but the festival is also open to students who will attend another college.

“It’s a great way to get a flavor of what it’s like to study music at the university-level,” Hatcher said.

The festival concludes with a free community concert at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 in Gray Chapel inside University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St. The students will be joined by OWU’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Park Avenue Jazz Ensemble in works for concert band such as “The Fair Day” by Sir Hamilton Harty; “Jubilateo” (Fanfare and Allegro) by Samuel Hazo; “America: A Tone Poem” by John Philip Sousa; “Wild Nights!” by Frank Ticheli; and “Laideronnette, Imperatrice des Pagodes,” by Maurice Ravel.

“This festival hits a high note with the community each year,” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D., in a news release. “It is exciting to watch these high school students grow as artists as they work with our music faculty and then to hear the students perform during the free community concert.”

Festival chairman Larry Griffin will conduct the concert.

“High school students have commented the President’s High School Band Festival is a highlight of their year,” Griffin said in the release. “They find attending the festival and touring our campus is a wonderful way to experience the highly intellectual yet welcoming culture of Ohio Wesleyan University.”

The concert also will be streamed live online at For more information, visit