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Notre Dame College is conducting its third annual High School Honor Band Festival in 2020, an exclusive education and performance immersion on campus open to teen woodwind, brass and percussion players.

The two-day instrumental music experience for students in grades 9 through 12 on Friday and Saturday, February 21 and 22, culminates with a joint concert of the Notre Dame Wind Symphony and Notre Dame High School Honor Band at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 22, in Regina Auditorium on the College campus. The musical finale, featuring select high school instrumentalists performing with the College’s own wind symphony, is free and open to the public.

The High School Honor Band Festival provides high school students with the opportunity to rehearse in an exclusive ensemble with high-class conductors and participate in masterclasses with Notre Dame applied faculty, as well as perform in the joint public concert with the College’s Wind Symphony. The student experience begins at 2:30 p.m. Friday, February 21, with registration and concludes with the Saturday evening performance. A complete schedule of 2020 honor band activities is online.

The festival and concert for 2020, once again under the direction of Michael Krueger, M.M., director of instrumental studies and music theory head at Notre Dame, highlights the College’s Joan Cronin Reagan #NDCPerforms Series for spring.

Select High School Students

High school students must be nominated for the College’s honor band by their high school instrumental directors and perform an audition on the first day of the festival. Audition materials consist of an etude, major scales and sight-reading. The online Honor Band Festival Nomination Form must be filled out by the high school director.

Nearly 50 students from about a dozen area high schools are selected to perform in concert with Notre Dame instrumentalists during the festival each year.

High-Class Conductors

Krueger is joined in leading the honor band weekend this year by guest clinician Dan Tucker, under whose direction the Lewis Central High School Symphonic and Jazz Ensemble and Marching Band have earned superior ratings in every Iowa state festival in which they have competed.

Tucker is currently in his 17th year teaching and fifth year as director of bands at the high school in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He is an adjunct instructor at Iowa Western Community College, where he teaches saxophone lessons. Tucker also is an active adjudicator in the Midwest.

At Notre Dame, Krueger is the director of instrumental studies and assistant director of performing arts. He directs the College Wind Symphony and Notre Dame Falcon Marching Band. He also teaches applied composition lessons and academic courses in music theory and composition at the College. In 2016, Krueger joined the drum major and student leadership staff for Fred J. Miller. He earned his Master of Music from Butler University and Bachelor of Music from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Instrumental Expertise

The Notre Dame College Department of Instrumental Music is a dynamic organization of musical performance groups that enhance the arts culture on campus. Membership includes participation in all applicable performance arenas based on instrumentation and choice of equipment/ensemble. Bands encompasses active participation in any of the following instrumental ensembles: Marching Band, Concert Ensembles, Pep Band, Jazz Band and the Notre Dame Wind Symphony.

The College offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in music entrepreneurship and theatre entrepreneurship. The music entrepreneurship major offers emphases in vocal, instrumental or composition, while the theatre entrepreneurship degree provides a concentration in acting and directing.

Additional information on the festival and Notre Dame performing arts programs is available online at