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Top high school musicians from North Carolina and surrounding states will sharpen their skills at the 22nd Carolina Band Festival & Conductors Conference hosted Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 17-19, by the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Two public concerts will be featured in Aycock Auditorium during the festival. The UNCG Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students and can be purchased at the University Box Office or by calling 4-4849. Students in the festival’s two Honor Bands will give a free performance Saturday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m.

The festival began in 1990 as a way to reach out to talented high school musicians and their teachers by utilizing first-class conductors and music faculty to work with attendees.

“When we started the Festival, it was planned to be an event which would attract the very best students to our campus,” said Dr. John Locke, the event founder and director of bands at UNCG. “The festival has been very successful and, after more than two decades, interest still remains high.”

This year, more than 300 students applied for about 180 seats in the Honors Band. Participants were competitively selected by audition tapes, making the caliber of talent comparable to that of fine All-State bands. The students are coming from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Maryland.

The young musicians will rehearse and perform under the direction of two noted guest conductors. Dr. Sue Samuels, the director of bands at the University of Alabama – Birmingham, will direct the concert band for grades 9 and 10. Richard Floyd, state director of music at the University of Texas, will lead the symphonic band for grades 11 and 12.

Teachers will take away something from the festival’s sessions. During the coinciding Conductor’s Conference, approximately 60 public school music teachers will attend sessions on the technical, gestural and musical aspects of conducting. They will be led by Michael Haithcock, director of bands at the University of Michigan, with additional sessions and clinics given by Samuels, Floyd and UNCG music faculty.

For more information, contact the UNCG Band Office at (336) 334-5299 or visit www.cbf-ccc.org.

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