Iowa State prepares to host band festival


Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

Elaine Kramme, senior in music, practices her flute for the upcoming performance of the Cyclone Honor Band during the first week of February.

Lani Tons

After almost 40 years, Iowa State will hold an annual Cyclone Honor Band Festival on Feb. 6 and 7.

Students who were selected from 62 different high schools will rehearse Feb. 6 and perform at Stephens Auditorium at 3 p.m. Feb. 7 with an admission charge.

Michael Golemo, Professor and Chair of the music and theatre department, anticipates a great turn out for the festival.

“The honor band festival is an opportunity for the finest band musicians to come together for two outstanding honor bands with two superb guest conductors,” Golemo said.

Golemo has been busy with the preparation for the festival.

“It is a very involved process, including selecting guest conductors, ordering music, selecting musicians and lots of logistics,” Golemo said.

These logistics include 200 high school musicians.

The guest conductors joining the high school students include Professor Ray Cramer, the director of Bands Emeritus at Indiana University, and Mrs. Jacqui Meunier, the band director at Southeast Polk High School in Pleasant Hill.

With Professor Cramer and Mrs. Meuiner, students will rehearse, attend master classes, audition and perform. A special performance concert will be featured for these students by the ISU wind ensemble Feb. 6 at 4:30 p.m. in the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall.

Damien Emilien, senior in music, has been involved with the ISU Wind Ensemble for three years. 

“They play really great music, it’s a great ensemble. I felt it was natural to join it,” Emilien said. 

Throughout the festival and the ISU Wind Ensemble there will be traditional wind, brass and percussion instruments.

Brandon Ritchie, senior in music, thought the idea to bring high school students from across the state was a great way to introduce them to the music that Iowa State can offer.

“This is a great recruitment idea too. Why not try to get these students to come to our school by showing off the best ensemble,” Ritchie said. 

The directors at each participating high school will choose their most deserving students.

“They send their top performers. It gives these high school kids pride to say they were a part of the honor band at Iowa State,” Emilien said.

Elaine Kramme, senior in music, joined the ISU Wind Ensemble for her first year this year and thought it was important that the ensemble was involved with the Cyclone Honor Band Festival.

“It’s a lot of fun and fast-paced. I’m always amazed at how in sync the group is and how quickly we can pick up on new music,” Kramme said.

Golemo said he will prepare for the upcoming event with enthusiasm and excitement.

“I am most excited about bringing so many talented prospective students to our campus,” Golemo said.