On Monday, Nov. 16, more than 190 students from the following area schools will be participating in the 25th annual Western Wisconsin Honors Band: Brookwood, Cashton, De Soto, Kickapoo, La Farge, North Crawford, Viroqua and Westby. This year’s event is being hosted by Westby Area Schools. Students will have a day of rehearsal with nationally recognized conductors and soloists. The event will culminate with a concert at 6:30 p.m. in the Westby High School gymnasium. The event is free and open to the public.
Westby High School students participating include: Alexa Ellis, Miranda DelMedico, Joyce Todd, Katie Justin, Dena Schedivy, Madilyn Mills, Joe Call, Caya Wollman, Laura Dunnum, Eve Frydenlund, Alexander Adam, Kayla Buros, Abby Inglett, Brianna Hall, Brianna Sandvick, Ashley Dwyer, Sierra Cade, Ronald Inglett, Spencer Oftedahl, Travis Schmitt, Alexis Midtlien, Taylor Hessler, Nathan Myhre and Tom Shaha.
Westby Middle School students involved include: Haley Hagen, Aniah Olstad, Faith Gardner, Abbie Larrington, Baylee Buros, Conor Vatland, Caitlin Fox, Anna Ofte, Emilie Brose, Mattie Wood, Clarie Griffin, Austin Mowery, Eva Lee, Molly Stenslien, Claire Tjelta, Emma Augenstein, Haley Nelson, Joe Armbruster, Luke Bjorklund, McKenna Manske, Joe Roethel, Josi Bishop and Katie Wollman.
The Western Wisconsin High School Honors Band will be conducted by Joe Hermann of Tennessee Tech University. Hermann is professor of music and director of bands at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tenn., where he is responsible for a dynamic and varied program consisting of the University Marching Band, Symphony Band, Concert Band, Pep Band and the Golden Eagle Brass. Hermann is sought after as a conductor, adjudicator and speaker, and as such has appeared in more than states, Canada, the Netherlands and throughout Japan.
The Western Wisconsin Middle School Honors Band will be conducted by Kathy Fenske. Fenske has 29 years of experience in the field of music education, teaching instrumental music, composing and arranging works for concert band, and conducting clinics throughout the United States. She holds a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and a Master of Music from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where she was a student of John Paynter. She is currently teaching high school band in suburban St. Louis and was recently awarded the Emerson “Crystal Apple” Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a member of ASBDA, NAFME, MMEA,WBDI, Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Beta Kappa.
Trombone soloist for the day is Harry Watters. Jazz trombonist Watters travels nationally and internationally as a Jupiter Artist. His numerous Summit Records releases include the popular “Love Songs” and the three critically acclaimed “Brothers” discs with trumpeter Ken Watters. After graduation from the University of North Texas, he spent four years touring and recording with the renowned Dukes of Dixieland.
Watters has performed with Doc Severinsen, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Erich Kunzel, Kevin Mahogany, Wycliffe Gordon, Lou Rawls, Maureen McGovern, Bill Watrous, Carl Fontana, Jiggs Whiggam, James Moody, Peter Erskine, Conrad Herwig, John Fedchock and the Boston Brass. In addition, he has appeared as a featured soloist with the Syracuse Symphony, the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Tulsa Pops, the West Virginia Symphony, the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, the Janacek Philharmonic, the Moldovan Festival Orchestra and the U.S. Army Orchestra.