FMS student selected for honor band festival
Kai-Li Diyaljee, an eighth-grade trumpet player from Fairfield Middle School, was selected to participate in the Southeast Iowa Bandmasters Association Honor Band Festival.
Jan. 11, approximately 800 students from southeast Iowa arrived at Fairfield High School in hopes of being accepted to attend the SEIBA Honor Band Festival.
SEIBA sponsors the auditions in Fairfield each winter.
This year, there were 24 audition centers, with about 400 students auditioning for two junior high bands; more than 300 students auditioning for the high school concert band; and about 80 students auditioning for the high school jazz band.
Students in junior high are expected to prepare chromatic and nine major scales and two assigned etudes. High school students prepare two assigned etudes, chromatic and all major scales and a solo excerpt of their choice. Competition is tough, as only about half of the students auditioning are accepted, said FMS band instructor Mary Andersen.
The selected students, including Diyaljee, attended the SEIBA festival Saturday at Iowa City West High School.
The students rehearsed with guest conductors during the afternoon and gave an evening concert.
The junior high bands were conducted by Christopher Strohmaier and Jim Colonna. Strohmaier is director of Valley Southwoods freshman band in West Des Moines, and Colonna is composer and director of bands at Laramie County Community College. Both bands were able to experience the rehearsal styles and conducting of both Strohmaier and Colonna.
During the concert, one middle school band premiered a composition written for them by Connola. Guest conductors for the other bands included: high school jazz band – Geof Bradfield, assistant professor of jazz saxophone and jazz studies at Northern Illinois University; and high school concert band – Richard R. Fischer, director of Bands at Concordia University Chicago.
Also during the concert, Fairfield High School band director Jim Edgeton was presented the 2014 Southeast Iowa Bandmasters Karl King Distinguished Service Award for active directors.
Band directors are nominated and balloted upon by other members of the organization, which is open to active and retired band directors, members of the band retail community and music education students.