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11:08 AM Thu, Jan. 17th

High school musicians to gather for annual festival<BR>

High school band members from across the state will join for a day of enriching musicianship at the Sixth Annual High School Honor Band Festival Wednesday at Yavapai College.

The Yavapai College Instrumental Music Department is sponsor of the event.

Clydene Dechert, current conductor of the Central Arizona Concert Band, will serve as guest Honor Band conductor this year, leading the musicians in clinics, fellowship, and performance.

As in prior festivals, students arrive at the college at 8:30 a.m. to begin the day. Once on campus, they participate in morning and afternoon rehearsal sessions on the Yavapai College Performance Hall stage to prepare for a 4:30 p.m. concert.

The Honor Band Festival draws instrumentalists from 12 high schools statewide.

"Participants have been in diligent individual practice since early December, but the daylong festival will be the first opportunity in which the ensemble rehearses as a group," said Roy Breiling, Yavapai College instrumental director.

To become a member of the Honor Band, musicians must first secure recommendations from their respective band directors. Breiling then selects the 90-piece band.

An interesting aspect of this band is that there are no chair assignments. That way, guest conductor Dechert has the flexibility of choosing soloists and moving students to their appropriate positions in the ensemble to create the proper tonal balance unique to each performing group.

The public is welcome to attend the free afternoon concert at 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 776-2045.