The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Region 3 Band Festival will be held at Altoona High School March 23 – 26, ending with a concert in the Altoona High School Auditorium on Saturday March 26 at 11 AM. Comprised of 182 students from 47 high schools and eleven counties, the Region Band members are one audition away from the Pennsylvania State Band Festival in Hershey. Their journey began in the fall of 2010 with District Band Auditions. At this audition they performed a selected piece on their instrument for a panel of judges. During the District Band Festivals, the members again auditioned and the students for Region 3 Band were selected at this time. It’s a long journey of hard work and practice, but the students would agree it was well worth their time and effort.
According to the festival host Larry Detwiler, Altoona High School band director, the Region 3 band will be under the direction of guest conductor Dr. William Stowman of Messiah College, Grantham, PA. Dr. Stowman is the chair of the Department of Music and Director of Instrumental Studies as well as the trumpet instructor, and director of the jazz bands and trumpet ensembles. Chosen by Dr. Stoman, the Region 3 Band will be performing the following compositions: Medieval Variations by Bruce Yurko, O Nata Lux by Guy Forbes, Symphony #3 by Boris Tikhonovich Kozhevnikov, The King of Love My Shepherd Is arranged by Dan Forrest, and Wedding Dance by Jacques Press.
Medieval Variations is comprised of the main theme and six variations each scored for various smaller ensembles of the band. According to the Hal Leonard website, the introduction of O Nata Lux depicts “light breaking upon a darken world”. This lyrical piece builds to a beautiful peak followed by a “serene” ending. Symphony #3 by Russian composer Kozhevnikov, is a powerful, must hear, four movement composition. Thanks to the fall of the Iron Curtain, we can now enjoy it. The King of Love My Shepherd Is was originally on old Irish hymn tune arranged for choir by Dan Forrest. When hearing Forrest’s arrangement for the first time, transcriber Jess Langston Turner thought the beautifully simple piece would make a wonderful selection for wind ensemble and was granted permission to transcribe the composition for band. Wedding Dance is a quick tempo, celebration of life! With many key changes and extreme dynamic changes, this will be a wild ride to the conclusion of the concert!