Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Feb 25, 2018

Local students perform with SEIBA Honor Band

Feb 13, 2018
PHOTO SUBMITTED Madison Kraemer, left, Fairfield High School junior, plays flute with the Southeast Iowa Bandmasters Association Honor Band.

On Jan. 6, approximately 850 students from southeast Iowa arrived at Fairfield High School in hopes of being accepted to attend the Southeast Iowa Bandmasters Association Honor Band Festival.

Each year, the SEIBA sponsors the auditions in Fairfield. This year, there were 27 audition centers, with approximately 450 students auditioning for two junior high bands; over 300 students auditioning for the high school concert band; and nearly 100 students auditioning for the high school jazz band.

Fairfield students accepted for the honor band were: Madison Kraemer, FHS junior, flute; Sarah McAvan, Fairfield Middle School eighth-grade, clarinet; and Tess Paton, FMS eighth-grade, oboe. Advancing to the second round of auditions, although not selected to perform, was Emma Winkelman, eighth-grade trumpet.

Students in junior high are expected to prepare chromatic and nine major scales, and two assigned etudes. Percussion students prepare an etude on snare, timpani, and mallet instruments, as well as a few select rudiments and the same scales as wind players.

High school students prepare two assigned etudes, chromatic and all major scales, and a solo excerpt of their choice -- the same material as for Iowa All State Band auditions. Competition is intense, as only about half of the students auditioning are accepted.

The SEIBA festival was held Jan. 20 at Iowa City West High School. The students rehearsed with guest conductors during the day, and gave an evening concert.

The junior high bands were conducted by Dorothy Jacobi, band director in the Center Point-Urbana school district, and Denise Graettinger, seventh/eighth-grade band director from Waverly-Shell Rock middle school.

The high school honors jazz band performed for this event under the guidance of Mike Conrad, a performer, composer, and doctoral candidate at the University of Northern Colorado. The jazz band members also had the fortune of premiering a composition commissioned for them by their conductor/composer.

Guest conductor for the high school band was Dr. Andrew Mast of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

There are also area honor bands for middle school students at Mt. Pleasant and the SEIBA elementary honor band in Washington, held in April. Fairfield band students are now working diligently to prepare for late winter/early spring events such as solo/ensemble festivals, high school pops concert, and middle school large group contest.

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