by Lorrie Ham
A trio of Mound Westonka High School musicians—Hanna Brustad, Kristina Hayhurst and Leah Pinault—will participate in the 19th Annual University of Minnesota High School Honor Band on the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus Jan. 25-27.
"I have had quite a few students audition for this honor band over the years, but this is the first time in my seven years here that we've had even one student chosen to participate," Director Gretchen Chilson said. "So, to have three students earn their way in is wonderful."
The weekend will culminate with the Honor Band concert on Jan. 27 at 1:30 p.m. in Ted Mann Concert Hall.
The U of M Honor Band presents an outstanding opportunity for approximately 90 of the upper Midwest’s finest young instrumentalists to rehearse and perform challenging music. The Honor Band Weekend will include master classes by nationally and internationally recognized wind and percussion faculty, including members of the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber orchestra.
High school students in grades 10–12 are eligible to participate and must be recommended by the director. This honor band is different than some others in that it requires an audition, not just a recommendation. It pulls students from all over the state, not just the metro area, so the competition to get in is tough. Students submitted audition recordings in November.
"The girls are really excited to spend the whole weekend playing and getting to know other talented students from around the state," Chilson said.