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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
Festival concert to feature guest conductor Ray Cramer

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 8, 2001 -- Ninety-five students from 28 different high schools will take part in the University of Rhode Island's 11th annual Southern New England High School Honor Band Festival on Friday, Jan. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 20.

The festival includes rehearsals both days, a Collage Concert featuring URI ensembles 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 selected from among nearly 300 who auditioned to participate in the festival.

This year's guest conductor at the Festival Concert is Ray E. Cramer, director of bands at the Indiana University School of Music and a sought-after guest conductor both nationally and internationally. Under his leadership, the Indiana University Wind Ensemble has earned an international reputation for outstanding musical performances over the last 20 years.

Cramer earned degrees from Western Illinois University and the University of Iowa and has served as national president of the College Band Directors National Association and president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association and the Big Ten Band Directors Association. He is currently president of the Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra convention held in Chicago each year.

Festival coordinator Donald Smith, URI assistant director of bands, says the program for the concert "offers a wonderful variety of stimulating music." Included are Richard Straus's "Koenigsmarsch," which features fanfare trumpets and other added brass elements as arranged by Roger Barrett; a fast-paced march entitled "Whip and Spur" arranged by guest conductor Cramer; "Sun Dance" composed by Frank Ticheli; and "Mosaics," commissioned in 1999 by the Midwest Clinic in celebration of a century of music education in America.

Since the first URI Southern New England High School Honor Band Festival in 1991, the festival has grown rapidly and has featured some of the most prestigious guest conductors in America. Conductor of the 2000 festival was Cmdr. Lewis J. Buckley, director of the United States Coast Guard Band.

The Saturday afternoon master classes for the student members of the festival band will be taught by URI Music Department faculty, while their directors will attend a discussion by the guest conductor. The director's discussion, "Podium Personality," is open to the community. The session will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Students from the following Rhode Island high schools will participate in the festival: Burrillville, Chariho, Coventry, Cranston East, Cumberland, East Greenwich, East Providence, Johnston, LaSalle, Middletown, Moses Brown, Mt. Hope, Mt. St. Charles, North Kingstown, North Smithfield, Ponaganset, Portsmouth, Portsmouth Abbey, Rogers, South Kingstown, Scituate, Smithfield, Tiverton, and Woonsocket.

Also participating are students attending Bridgewater-Raynham, Joseph Case, and Nipmuc Regional high schools in Massachusetts and Northwest Catholic School in Hartford, Conn.

For additional information about the festival, call the URI Music Department at 401-874-2431 or Donald Jay Smith, festival coordinator, at 401-874-2799.

For Information: Donald Smith 874-2799, Todd McLeish 874-7892


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