Fourteen Oskaloosa Middle School band students were among more than 400 middle and junior high students from Southeast Iowa who auditioned recently for selection into the Southeast Iowa Bandmaster Association Honor Band.
Eight OMS students were selected for inclusion into the honor bands, more than from any other school within a 90 mile radius and more than many 4A schools.
Representing Oskaloosa in the District Honor Band concert in Iowa City were the following:
Aaron Vos, trumpet (7th grade)
John Edgren, trumpet (7th grade)
Emma Raymond, bassoon (7th grade)
Nick Reiter, trumpet (8th grade)
Maggie Fitzpatrick, trumpet (8th grade)
Kinsey Cook, French Horn (8th grade)
Jacob Spears, Euphonium (8th grade)
Chase Anderson, tuba (8th grade)
Each year, Fairfield High School hosts the auditions. The students were expected to prepare their chromatic and nine major scale, many two octaves and two etudes. Competition was difficult, with less than half being accepted into the two honor bands.
The SEIBA festival was held at Iowa City West High School on Saturday, Jan. 25. The students rehearsed with guest conductors during the afternoon, and gave an evening concert to a standing-room-only crowd. The junior high bands were conducted by Christopher Strohmaier, director of Valley Southwoods Freshman band in West Des Moines and Jim Colonna, composer and director of bands at York College of Pennsylvania. At the concert, one of the middle school bands premiered a composition written for them by Mr. Colonna. The piece was commissioned by the Southeast Iowa Bandmasters Association specifically for this year’s group. Both junior high bands were able to experience the rehearsal styles and conducting of both Mr. Strohmaier and Mr. Colonna.