University News

26th Annual Showcase of Bands Feb. 22-23

February 19, 2013

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University's School of Music presents the 26th annual Showcase of Bands Friday-Saturday, Feb. 22-23 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.

Three high school bands with proven concert success are invited to attend masterclasses with Western's professional wind and percussion staff, rehearse with University and guest artists and perform in concert. According the Matt Thomas, director of the Showcase of Bands and associate director of bands at WIU, the event is used as a forum for the promotion of serious wind music and high school concert band performance.

The 2013 showcase bands are Washington (IL) Community High School, Jim Tallman, director; Plainfield (IL) Central High School, Dan Valkema, director; and Metea Valley High School of Aurora, IL, Don Devany, director.

This year's guest conductor is Steve Davis, director of bands and wind ensemble at University of Missouri at Kansas City's Conservatory of Music and Dance. Davis is the founding director of the UMKC Wind Band Teaching Symposium and is conductor of the Kansas City Youth Symphony's Symphony Orchestra and newEar, a professional contemporary chamber ensemble. Davis is part of the American Bandmasters Association and is serving as the College Band Directors National Association as the Southwest Division president. He has lifetime memberships in the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Phi Mu Alpha and Tau Beta Sigma.

The Showcase of Bands weekend also includes the 2013 Honor Band, comprised of high school musicians from Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, who are nominated by their band directors. These students participate in weekend master classes and rehearsals and perform in concert under the baton of guest conductor Daniel Schmidt, professor of bands at Northern Arizona University.

There will be three concerts in the COFAC Recital Hall open free to the public during the Showcase of Bands.

The Western Illinois University Wind Ensemble will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, with Thomas conducting.

The Showcase of Bands concert is schedule at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 with Davis conducting. The final concert, featuring Western's Concert Band and the 2013 Honor Band, is scheduled for 4 p.m. with conductor Schmidt.

For more information, contact University Bands at (309) 298-1505.

Posted By: Sarah Tomkinson (
Office of University Relations