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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

High school band festival to be held at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 11, 2000 -- Ninety-five students from 22 different high schools will take part in the University of Rhode Island's 10th Annual Southern New England High School Honor Band Festival.

The festival will be held Friday, Jan. 21 and Saturday, Jan. 22 and includes rehearsals Friday and Saturday, a Collage Concert at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, master classes for the students and their directors on Saturday afternoon, and the Festival Concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday. All events will be held in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall on the Kingston campus and are free and open to the public.

The student musicians, enrolled in school band programs from grades 10, 11, and 12 in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, were required to perform in a competition in order to participate in the festival.

Since the first URI Southern New England Honor Band Festival in 1991, the festival has grown rapidly and has featured some of the most prestigious guest conductors in America including Alan McMurray, H. Robert Reynolds, James Croft, and Anthony Maiello.

This year's guest conductor is Cmdr. Lewis J. Buckley, director of The United States Coast Guard Band, New London, Conn. Dan Vinson, principal euphonium in The United States Coast Guard Band and nationally acclaimed euphonium soloist, will join the students on stage as a guest soloist to perform a virtuostic piece Buckley arranged for him, The Yellow Rose of Texas.

The concert program includes four of Buckley's numerous published arrangements, Alleluia (composed by Randall Thompson), a circus march The Billboard (by John Klohr), and the traditional tunes Turkey in the Straw and The Yellow Rose of Texas.

The balance of the program features the Gandolf movement from Johann De Meij's symphony for band, The Lord of the Rings, and Claire Grundman's transcription of Candide Suite by Leonard Bernstein.

The music selected will provide a combination of stylistic variety as well as technical and musical challenges for high school performers. The audience will be treated to a wide range of contrasting colors and tempi that will stretch from the serene warmth of the "Make Our Garden Grow" movement of Candide Suite to delightful twists on familiar traditional tunes. The Collage Concert features URI's Wind Ensemble, Chorus, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and other chamber ensembles.

The Saturday afternoon master classes for the student members of the festival band are taught by URI music department faculty while their directors attend a discussion by the guest conductor.

The directors' discussion this year titled: "What are we? Conductors--among other things!" is open to the University community. The session will begin at about 3:30 p.m.

For additional information, call the URI Music Department, 401-874-2431 or Donald Jay Smith, coordinator URI Southern New England High School Honor Band Festival.

Cmdr. Lewis J. Buckley, Guest Conductor

Cmdr. Lewis J. Buckley was born in Columbus, Ohio, but considers himself a native of Florida, the state in which he grew up. He graduated from Miami Senior High School, earned his undergraduate degree from the Eastman School of Music and his master's degree from Connecticut College. While at Eastman, he also earned the Performer's Certificate for outstanding performance on his major instrument, the trumpet.

He enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard Band in 1969, where he served as principal trumpet and trumpet soloist, founded and directed the Coast Guard Band Jazz Ensemble, and arranged and composed music regularly. In 1975, at age 27, he became the Coast Guard Band's fifth director, a post he continues to hold today.

He has continued to write, now having a number of arrangements and

compositions published. He writes for concert band, jazz band, and a number of chamber ensembles, including woodwind and brass quintets. His works have been performed nationwide, and he has fulfilled a number of commissions.

Under his baton, the Coast Guard Band has become a noted touring organization, has become a sought-after organization at music conventions nationwide, has released many records and compact discs, and has aired more concert broadcasts on National Public Radio than any other wind band, military or civilian, in the U. S. These broadcasts have also aired abroad.

Buckley has conducted all-state and district bands across the nation.


For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116


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