CSI music department debuts high school honor band

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The College of Southern Idaho held its first high school honor band workshop this weekend.

"Not many people know about this (music) program," said George Halsell, a professor in the music department.

That's what led Halsell and the rest of the department to offer an honor band, but they didn't want to bring in just any conductor. They brought in the conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble in Rochester, New York, Professor Mark Davis Scatterday.

"He directs one of the premier college wind groups in the world and travels worldwide to direct the top bands everywhere," Halsell said.

Fifty high school students took part in the the two day event, playing various instruments including the clarinet, trumpet, and tuba. Joe Crafts, a junior at Burley High, engaged in band since the middle school.

"I originally played the trumpet, and when I picked up the tuba, it was just the one for me, you know," Crafts said.

Students learned four pieces under Professor Scatterday. These pieces, he says, are ones he thinks are significant ones to learn historically and will also make them better players.

"Gustav Holst piece, we're doing a march called 'National Emblem' and a piece by Eric Whitacre and then we're also doing a piece by a friend of mine, James Curnow, called 'Seacliffe Overture,'" he listed.

Receiving direction from a well-advanced conductor like Scatterday is something that not all students get to experience in high school.

"It's a good clinic," Crafts said. "The guy from Eastman this year is pretty cool."

"The level of playing that most of these kids get to experience in their own programs is not as high as it really could be, I think," said Professor Halsell. "I think its great that Dr. Scatterday’s come out to really show them what high expectations are like and what high possibilities are for achievement."

Through the hours and hours of rehearsal, they wrapped up the event with a concert.

"I really have enjoyed spending time with the students from this area," remarked Professor Scatterday. "They seemed to have responded really well to what I'm trying to do and I think they're having a good time and learning a lot."

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