Honors Band Festival to end with a free concert, Jan. 19

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KINGSTON, R.I. – January 4, 2013 –The University of Rhode Island will host the Southern New England Honors Band Festival on the Kingston campus Jan. 18-19, gathering top high school band talent from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The two days of workshops and rehearsals will culminate on Saturday evening, Jan. 19, with a free public concert performed by the combined Honors Band under the direction of guest conductor Harlan Parker from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Md. The American Band, directed by Gene J. Pollart, will also perform. The concert is at 7 p.m., in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston.

More than 70 students usually participate in the annual festival, representing nearly thirty high schools from the southern New England region. For this year’s concert program they will play Evokatah by Michael Mogensen, October by Eric Whitacre, La Quintenssenza by Johan de Meij, and New Mexico March by John Philip Sousa. The concert will again be shared with The American Band, the second-oldest community band in the USA, a combination that was introduced at the festival two years ago and has been very successful. The American Band was originally founded as a brass band in 1837, and is conducted by URI Music Department faculty member Gene J. Pollart, with Brian Cardany as the assistant conductor. Cardany, URI’s assistant director of bands and head coach and director of athletic bands, coordinates the Honors Band Festival each year.

Tickets will be available at the box office on a first-come basis starting 45 minutes before the concert. The URI Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center, off Bills Road. For more information, please contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check the website: www.uri.edu/music.