MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 12, 2012

Students selected for Honor Band


— Five students from Northeastern State University have been selected for the 2013 Oklahoma Intercollegiate Honor Band.

The band will perform in Tulsa as part of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association convention Jan. 16-18.

Representing NSU are Stephanie Castor of Fort Gibson on clarinet; Amanda Jesperson of Broken Arrow; Sarah Thompson of Oologah on flute; Christopher Beard of Claremore on alto saxophone; and Jared Willis of Oologah on trumpet.

Dr. Norman Wika, director of bands and assistant professor of music, said the OIHB is a chance for NSU students to interact with talented student musicians from other Oklahoma institutions of higher learning.

“The students who participate get the opportunity to sit in an ensemble that will challenge and inspire them,” Wika said. “It also gives them the experience of working with a guest conductor from a major university program.”

This year’s guest conductor is Dr. Sarah McKoin, director of bands at Texas Tech University.

The band performs at 2 p.m. Jan. 17 in the International Ballroom at the Doubletree Hotel in Tulsa – Downtown, 616 W. Seventh St. The OMEA convention is at the Tulsa Convention Center, 100 Civic Center (West Seventh Street and South Houston Avenue).

Wika said the students chosen for honor band are outstanding representatives of the university.

“This honor band pulls together the finest college musicians from around the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “To have a strong representation means that our music program is strong and healthy and inspiring a sense of excellence in our students."

The honor band usually includes less than 100 selected players. Students are chosen based on director recommendation. Selected students audition for placement within their respective sections.

Auditions are at 1 p.m. Jan. 16 The students then enter rehearsals from 3-5:30 p.m. and 7:30-10 p.m. on Jan. 16 and from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Jan. 17.

 Castor is a junior majoring in music education and instructed by Dr. Anne Watson. Jesperson is a senior majoring in musical arts and Thompson is a freshman performance major. Both are students of Dr. Patricia Surman. Beard is a student of Dr. Tommy Poole and a senior performance major. Wallis is a junior performance major and taught by Dr. Jason Dovel.

“The NSU music department congratulates these students on their achievements and this recognition of their hard work,” Wika said.

Information: Wika, (918) 444-2706.