Nov 16, 2023
On February 28, 76 high school students from nine high schools in four states gathered at Oklahoma Panhandle State University for the 1st Annual High Plains Honor Band. The event was a resounding success, with many in attendance.
The event brought together some of the most talented high school musicians from the surrounding area. This year’s event was particularly special, as it marked the first time OPSU students were invited to perform alongside the high school students. Fourteen OPSU students participated in the event, adding to the already impressive lineup of talented musicians.
“The music department was honored to host the High Plains Honor Band,” stated Dr. Mendez, OPSU Music Department Chair. “We are very thankful for all the students and directors that participated and worked diligently for this event. We were thrilled with the results and look forward to doing a second edition next year.”
The students participated in various rehearsals throughout the day, honing their skills and preparing for the evening’s performance. The rehearsals were led by experienced music educators, who provided valuable insights and tips on improving their technique, tone, and musicality.
OPSU Music Director, David Vaughn said, “This was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my professional music career. Working with those young musicians at such an elite level was truly rewarding. I can’t wait to do it again next year.”
In the evening, the students took to the stage for the main event. The concert was a showcase of talent, with each performance highlighting the hard work and dedication of the students and their teachers. The audience was filled with proud parents, teachers, and community members, all of whom were amazed by the level of skill displayed by the young musicians.
“It was tiring to play for hours at a time, but the Director, Mr. Vaughn, made it enjoyable,” said Evangelina Encinias, Clayton High School. “Coming from a small band and a school that hasn’t had a strong band for years, it was a nice, somewhat sentimental experience, and this was one of my last performances. Being a senior and having played clarinet for seven years, I appreciated having the opportunity to play.”
Another student from Balko High School, Cadence Vaughn, stated, “I had a blast! It was a great opportunity to meet a ton of people and it was a lot of fun”
The OPSU Music Department plans to make this event a yearly showcase. For additional information or how to get involved in the High Plains Honor Band, email David Vaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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