Nebraska Wesleyan Honors Festival showcases state’s top musical talent
The Nebraska Wesleyan Honors Festival will draw the region’s most promising high school singers and instrumental performers during its annual concerts next month.
“Our festival has a rich tradition of engaging highly accomplished guest conductors and composers who we bring to campus to work with the high school students,” says Josh Roach, director of instrumental activities and assistant professor of music at NWU. “This year, we are inviting two guests that are both conductors and composers. We are also splitting up the festival to take place over two separate weekends, which allows us to do several new things.”
The honor choir, which will culminate on Friday ,Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. in the O’Donnell Auditorium, will include a guest choir for the first time; Bellevue West’s high school program. Students will have the opportunity to sing in a masterclass with NWU faculty, participate in a drum circle with Dr. Amy Spears and have a musical theater experience.
The honor bands performance will take place on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 2:30 p.m. in O’Donnell Auditorium. The performance includes several inaugural milestones: two bands; one based on student auditions, and the other based on nominations from high school band directors. The auditioned group will play side-by-side with the NWU Symphonic Band.
Director of Choirs and Associate Professor Music Tom Trenney says it’s rare for students to create music with composers whose music they play. “This a powerful experience. And being able to make music with students from other schools who are as talented and excited about choir as you is such a thrilling experience, particularly for those who come from smaller schools.”
Both concerts are open to the public and tickets can be purchased at the door.
“The audience will be able to feel the passion and spirit of these young people uniting together to create something authentically beautiful. In a world that is so chaotic and divided, to see and hear this unity and harmony is uplifting and inspiring,” says Trenney.