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Three Rivers Honor Band And Choir Review

Brennus Braaten, Alex Gulbranson (top) Tiana Pickett-Hanson, Hannah Kingsley, Nora Springer (middle) Siri Corson, Abby Zutz, Esme Gastfield (bottom)
Duane Ledin, Katie Pickett, Eva Hemenway, Micheal Sweeney, Kyra Arndt, Nicholas Wiest (top) Benjamin Ryan, Caleb Barth (bottom)

The Three Rivers Honor Band and Choir is an event where all schools in the Three Rivers Conference get together with a select few choir and band students to play with a volunteer director either from any of the schools that attended or a professional guest director. This year our band and choir had a select few students attend this event.

The students that attended the honor choir are Siri Corson, Abby Zutz, and Esme Gastfield on soprano,  Tiana Pickett-Hanson, Hannah Kingsley, and Nora Springer on alto, and Brennus Braaten and Alex Gulbranson on tenor. The students who attended the honor band are Eva Hemenway and Katie Pickett on flute, Kyra Arndt on clarinet, Benjamin Ryan on baritone saxophone, Eric Wiest on trumpet, and Caleb Barth on bassoon.

This event took place at St. Charles High School. The students were there from 9:30 am to around 8:30 pm. There were four rehearsals. Each took about an hour or more for a total of about five hours of rehearsal time. There was also a sectional period where the sections of the band and choir got together and practiced in their separate sections. Lunch and dinner were served. Lunch was a sandwich with chips, vegetables, an apple, a triple chocolate cookie, and lemonade or water. Dinner was a choice between red sauce beef penne or white sauce chicken alfredo, a breadstick, a salad, and a yogurt parfait.

The concert started at 7:00 pm with the choir performing first. The choir sang “Sisi Ni Moja” by Jacob Narverud, their men’s piece “Tell My Father” arranged by Andrea Ramsey with an oboe solo played by Garret O’Connell, the band director at St. Charles, the women’s piece “Sing Out Soul” by Marques, “Autumn Gives Her Hand To Winter” by Kieth Loftus, and “Heroes and Dreamers” by Pink Zebra. There was a total of  98 students from 11 different schools. The honor choir was directed by Dr. Juan Tony Guzmán. Dr. Guzmán was born in the Dominican Republic. He’s the Weston Noble Endowed Chair in Music and director of the jazz program at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He writes and publishes many choral and instrumental Caribbean and Latin American music scores. Dr. Guzmán has conducted choirs, bands, and orchestras all around the world.

Next was the band who played “Into the Clouds” by Richard L. Saucedo, “Down by the Salley Gardens” arranged by Micheal Sweeney, “Normandy Beach” by Josh Edmundson, and a world premiere of “Secret Valley” by Micheal Sweeney. There was a total of 85 students from 10 different schools. The honor band was directed by Micheal Sweeney who composed “Secret Valley” not too long before the event. Hal Leonard has published over 500 of Sweeney’s compositions and arrangements. Prior to working with Hal Leonard, Sweeney was a band director for bands in Ohio and Indiana working with all sorts of different age levels, ranging from elementary all the way to college. Sweeney is on high demand as a clinician and conductor for honor bands and festivals all over.

To watch this year’s Three Rivers Honor Band and Choir performance, the video is below.

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About the Contributor
Caleb Barth, Staff Writer
Caleb is a junior at Fillmore Central High School. He is 16 years old and his pronouns he/him. After graduating, Caleb is planning on studying for a bachelor's degree in music education. He loves indulging in creative activities, playing fantasy games, and spending time with friends.
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