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HARMONY: Two musicians participate in District 4 Band Festival

by NICOLE ELLI, Gazette Student News Reporter on February 21, 2014 10:50 AM

WESTOVER — On Feb. 6, two students from Harmony High School joined 150 students at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s annual District 4 Band Festival.

Ronald Marshall and Nicole Elli arrived at Mifflin County High School, in Lewistown early on Feb. 6, ready for a day of practice. Because of bad weather, the auditions for the previous night had been canceled and students had to audition for Regional Band on Feb. 6.

The students were introduced to their guest conductor, Dr. Jack Stamp. Dr. Stamp graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he currently teaches.

[PHOTO: Harmony High School students Ronald Marshall and Nicole Elli attended District 4 Band Feb. 6-8, along with their director, Dan Bergman. (Submitted photo/Harmony High School)

He is a professor of music, director of band studies and teaches graduate conducting.

Dr. Stamp has taught in several different states and has conducted many festival bands.

He has received numerous awards from IUP and PMEA, and is the founder and conductor of the Keystone Winds, a group devoted to performing American band music.

Feb. 6 and 7 consisted of all-day practices. On Feb. 7, students returned home to host families to get a good night’s sleep.

The concert took place on Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. After a welcome and remarks from the Mifflin County superintendent, principal, band director and the PMEA District 4 president, the band opened with “A Festival Prelude.” The concert consisted of four other pieces: “Introit,” “Rest,” “First Suite in E-Flat” and the concluding song, “Junket,” composed by Dr. Stamp.

Both Harmony students learned a lot that will help them become better musicians and help others in their band at home.

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