Manti High music students perform in honor band at Richfield concert
By Linda Petersen
Dec. 21, 2017
RICHFIELD—Twenty-four band, orchestra and percussion students from Manti High School participated in the Rural High School Honor Band held at Richfield High School last Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9.
Eight students from Gunnison Valley High School also participated in the event as part of the orchestra.
Manti High students were nominated for Honor Band by band teacher Bryan Sullivan based on their contributions and commitment to the music program. He also looked at who would benefit most from the opportunity, he said.
The event has been organized by Richfield High band teacher Brian Thompson for the past seven years and involves most Central Utah high schools.
“It’s great to get together to make music rather than compete with each other as we do in sports,” Sullivan said.
Each participant received their music several weeks ago and was expected to learn and practice the pieces on their own.
Once they arrived at Richfield High on Friday morning, the participants worked with a guest conductor to refine the pieces they would play at a concert for parents, family and the public later Saturday.
The guest conductor for the band students was Jason Petrovich with Richard Marsden leading the orchestra and Stephen Hughes working with the percussion players.
In the concert played in the high school’s new auditorium finished early this year, the band (about 130 members) played four classical contemporary pieces, while the orchestra members showed their skill with numbers by three well-known classical composers.
The percussion group, consisting of 30 members, played a contemporary piece.
“Honor Band/Orchestra/Percussion is an opportunity to get together and perform with top rural school students from all over the state,” said Sullivan. He added his students really enjoyed the experience.
This year, for the first time, the Utah Music Educators Association helped put together and instruct an orchestra for the event. Just 24 orchestra members played this first year.
Eight students from Gunnison Valley High School also participated as members of the orchestra: Alexander Stewart (violin), Aspen Haas (viola), Christina Carter (violin), Ethan Hammond (cello), Jasmine Carter (viola), Joshua Barlow (cello), Lauryn Henrie (violin) and Mia Condie (violin).
Playing in the orchestra was a great learning experience for all of them, said Lisa Kaye Johnson, string orchestra director at Gunnison Valley High School.