Congratulations to the Augustana Band Festival members

Back row from left are Sophia New — junior, clarinet; Michael VanDeWiele — junior, percussion; Delaney Engbrecht — junior, percussion; and Mesa Winder — junior, alto saxophone. Front: Margot Pearson — senior, trombone; Isabel Myren — senior, flute; and Morgan Eckert — junior flute/piccolo.

Congratulations to these students for their acceptance into the 62nd Augustana Band Festival. The festival is Nov. 8-9 on the Augustana University campus. The festival’s Grand Finale Concert is set for Nov. 9 at the Washington Pavilion, starting at 6 p.m.

“I know these students will represent Pierre well,” said Mackenzie Jensen, T.F. Riggs High School band director. The concert will not be aired. Make arrangements through Augusta for tickets.

What does it take to be a member of the band festival? “Students are given the opportunity to nominate themselves. A list of students who nominated themselves is sent to me, and I fill out additional information, rating their ability. Musicians are selected by the festival chair and assistant chair.”

How many years has Riggs been represented at the festival? “At least eight – I have taken students for my seven years, and when I was the chair of the festival I remember Bethany Amundson, the director before me, bringing a group.”

Have any of these students qualified for festival before? “Yes – all but Mike have attended before.” There are a total of 58 instrumental students at Riggs.

What pieces are the students rehearsing? “These students are in two of the three bands; Blue Band and Gold Band.

Blue Band is rehearsing “Chasing Sunlight” by Cait Nishimura, “Cave You Fear” by Michael Markowski, “Blue Ridge Reel” by Brian Balmages, “Clef Club March” by James Reese, “Europe” arranged by James Lamb, and “Charm” by Kevin Putz.

Gold Band is rehearsing “March of the Dwarfs” by Edvard Grieg arranged by Michael Story, “Three Folk Miniatures” by Andre Jutras, “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” by John Williams arranged by James Curnow, and “The Red Covered Bridge” by Robert Sheldon.

Anything else you can add? “There are three bands that make up the festival: Honor Band (comprised of students who have made All State Band in their states), Gold and Blue Festival Bands. The festival bands are equal in ability level. Students are accepted from Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. There are usually around 40 schools represented and 300+ students. This year’s conductors are Dr. Larry Peterson from Augustana University, Dr. Brandon Houghtalen from Abilene Christian University, and Dr. Dale Lonis from Acadia University in Nova Scotia. The festival is run by Augustana University students,” said Jensen.

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