2019 Wesleyan Honors Festival
High school band, choral, and orchestra students are invited to audition for the Wesleyan Honors Festival to be held on the Nebraska Wesleyan University campus February 7, 8, and 9, 2019.
LCDR Dr. John Pastin
LCDR Dr. John Pastin is a thirty-year veteran of the US Navy's Music Program, and has commanded, trained and performed with some of the Navy's most prestigious bands including: the Navy Show Band, the Navy Band at Pearl Harbor; Navy Band Seattle; NATO Forces Band in Naples, Italy; U.S. Naval Academy Band, Annapolis; Navy Band, New Orleans; Navy Band, Orlando, Florida; and the premier United States Navy Band in Washington, DC. His performances include concerts and ceremonies at the White House and US Pentagon; Carnegie Hall, New York; Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Constitution Hall, Washington, DC; Meyerson Hall, Dallas TX; the Vatican; Saint Petersburg, Russia; Tokyo, Japan; Beijing, China; and tours to all fifty states. Dr. Pastin received many personal military awards, including: the Legion of Merit and Joint Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Meritorious Service, Commendation and Achievement Medals, and the Colonel George S. Howard Award for Musical Excellence. He is a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, Association of Concert Bands, College Band Directors National Association, and the John Philip Sousa Society. Dr. Pastin holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of the State of New York, Master of Music from Northwestern University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in wind band conducting from the University of Maryland. After his impressive career with the US Navy, Dr. Pastin joined the faculty at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ in 1998 as first, the Director of Bands and later, Music Department Chair and Dean of the College of Fine Arts. Dr. Pastin retired from Rowan in May 2017 and now lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Arleen and can be regularly seen as a freelance woodwind performer and conductor in the Pittsburgh metro area.
James Rodde is the Louise Moen Endowed Chair in Music and Director of Choral Activities at Iowa State University. He conducts the Iowa State Singers, the 140-voice Iowa Statesmen, and teaches choral conducting and literature. Since his appointment at ISU in 2000, the choral program has grown to now include roughly 400 undergraduate choristers.
Choirs under his direction have toured internationally and have been honored with performances at several distinguished music conferences, including the 1993, 1997, 2005, 2009, and 2015 ACDA National Conferences and the 2008 and 2011 NCCO National Conferences. As a teacher of conducting, his student Shelby Sievers won the ACDA National Undergraduate Conducting Competition in 2005.
An active clinician, Dr. Rodde has led several All-State and regional festival ensembles, including two North Central ACDA Men's Honor Choirs. Other guest conducting engagements include All-State Choirs in Texas, Kentucky, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Colorado, and Nebraska. Upon his arrival at Iowa State Dr. Rodde instituted the ISU Honor Choir, a highly select ensemble of high school students, chosen annually through live auditions across the state.
Alliance, AMSI, Hal Leonard, Lawson-Gould, Mark Foster, Musica Russica, and Santa Barbara have published Dr. Rodde's editions and arrangements of choral music. He served as the North Central ACDA Repertoire and Standards Chair for Male Choirs for over a decade and is currently the Artistic Director of both the Des Moines Choral Society and the Ames Chamber Artists.
A native of Minneapolis, Dr. Rodde received the Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Augsburg College and completed the M.A. and D.M.A. degrees in Choral Conducting at the University of Iowa. From 1985 to 2000 he served as Director of Choral Studies at the University of North Dakota, where he was honored with the Fine Arts Faculty Award for Teaching.
Soon Hee Newbold
Soon Hee Newbold is an American composer, conductor, musician, and actress. Newbold was adopted as an infant and grew up, with two sisters, in Frederick, Maryland. She began playing piano at age five and violin at age seven winning many prestigious competitions and performing as a concert artist at an early age. As a soloist and in professional orchestras throughout the world, Soon Hee has appeared in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Disney World, Aspen, and Tanglewood.
In high school, her interests included science, languages, and drama. She studied German, French, and Russian and completed an internship in AIDS and Cancer research at the National Institute of Health in Ft. Detrick, Maryland.
Soon Hee received her Bachelor of Music degree from James Madison University where she concentrated on film scoring, orchestration, and audio production. Upon graduation, she worked in entertainment for Walt Disney World and performed in the various symphonies in Florida. Ms. Newbold also produced albums and wrote for many recording projects and ensembles. Published through the FJH Music Company, her musical compositions can be heard around the world in film, orchestras, and other performing groups.
As an actress, Ms. Newbold expanded her experiences to film and television. She got her first film break in The Waterboy (1998) and her first television role in Camp Tanglefoot: It All Adds Up (1999).
Sadly, her mother was diagnosed with Huntington's disease, a terminal, devastating genetic neurological illness for which there is little treatment and no cure. She wrote the popular song "Endless Dreams," and dedicated it to those affected by Huntington's to spread awareness and hope.