NOTE TO EDITORS:
To identify students selected for the WSMA Virtual Middle Level State Honors Music Project in your circulation area, please refer to the student roster (pdf). Schools and cities are listed in zip code order for easy reference.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WAUNAKEE, Wis., (November 12, 2020) — Many of Wisconsin’s most accomplished junior high and middle school music students (band, choir and orchestra) participated in the first-ever Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) Virtual Middle Level State Honors Project held on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31.
Throughout the state, 298 students in grades 6-8 were selected from over 1,100 who registered to audition. Video auditions, including a prepared solo or etudes, sight reading and scales, were submitted during the months of June for vocalists, string and wind instruments. Percussionists submitted video auditions during the month of September. Selection for the band, choir and orchestra was based on several elements of music performance.
WSMA State Honors Music Project brings Wisconsin’s finest school musicians together to work with nationally known conductors in a professional setting. The 2020 WSMA Middle Level State Honors conductors were:
Band: Dr. Phil Ostander, UW-Eau Claire
Orchestra: Dr. Stephen Benham, Duquesne University
Choir: Mr. Vincent Oakes, Chattanooga, TN
“Learning, interacting and performing with other inspiring musicians from across the state under the direction of a nationally recognized conductor and some of Wisconsin’s finest music educators, offers students an incredible enrichment opportunity,” said Erica Ruppert, WSMA program director.
In addition to full ensemble rehearsals and sectional activities, students participated in a Q&A session with the composer of their musical selections. J. Reese Norris, Richard Meyer, and Dr. Erika Svanoe gave insightful information regarding the technical aspects, inspiration for and meaning behind their music compositions.
Students in grades 6-8 who attend a WSMA member school and participate in the school’s music program will be eligible to audition for the 2021 WSMA Middle Level State Honors Project. Auditions will be held in late May and early April. For more information on Middle Level State Honors and other WSMA programs, visit wsmamusic.org.
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Founded in 1932, Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) is a non-profit service organization with more than 1,000 member public and private schools. Students from member schools are eligible to participate in WSMA programs, such as District and State Music Festivals, Concert Festivals, State Honors Music Project, State Marching Band Championships and Student Composition Project. WSMA is governed by a board of directors made up of superintendents, principals and other officers from all over the state. WSMA believes music is a basic human need and that all children have the right to experience all that music offers them.