Evanston to host all-state music conference

EVANSTON — This year Evanston is playing host to hundreds of educators and students from around Wyoming for the All-State Music Conference, which kicks off on Sunday, Jan. 14, and runs through Tuesday, Jan. 16. The conference is bookended by two concerts, one on Sunday evening and the other on Tuesday evening.

The All-State Music Conference serves two purposes, according to Evanston High School vocal music director Heather Blackwell. The first is a learning conference for more than 250 music educators from across Wyoming, including at the elementary, junior high, high school and college levels. Blackwell said experts from around the country will be on hand to offer classes on general music, band, choir, orchestra, guitar, jazz, technology and more. 

In addition to the conference for music educators, more than 450 high school students from every district in Wyoming will be in Evanston. Participating students were selected following an extensive audition process last fall, and honorees participate in All-State Choir, Band or Orchestra. 

Blackwell said eight EHS students were awarded All-State honors following the arduous audition process. All-State Choir honorees include David Baxter, Matthew Geary, Josaah Roden and Kayli Sharp. EHS All-State Band members are Rachael Hansen and Scott Browning, and All-State Orchestra members are Clay Lester and Joseph Maisey. 

Honorees from Lyman High School include Kyler Legault, Stone Olguin and Shaelyn Wilson in band; and Braxton Bradshaw, McKailey Bradshaw, Cooper Haycock, Carter Huntsman, Preston Nebeker, Ben Neiderer, Olivia Smith and Stockton Walker in choir. Students honored from Mountain View High School include Maura Flake, Landen Kellum and Charity Harmon in choir. 

In addition, Lyman teacher Chuck Braumbaugh will be presented with the 2018 Music Educator of the Year award at the Wyoming Music Educator Association banquet on Monday evening. 

Students will participate in classes and rehearsals all day Monday and Tuesday to prepare for Tuesday evening’s gala concert. The band, orchestra and choir will be conducted by prominent award-winning and notable music educators from around the United States. 

The All-State Choir will be conducted by Dr. Pearl Shangkuan, director of choral activities at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. All-State Band will be conducted by Marcellus Brown, director of bands at Boise State University; and All-State Orchestra will be conducted by Dr. James Mick, associate professor of music education at Ithaca College in upstate New York. 

Monday evening participating students will be able to enjoy a night of relaxation and socializing with their fellow honorees. All-State Student Night will take place at Davis Middle School from 6-10 p.m., and will include dinner and options for swimming, dance, open gym and game tables. Volunteer chaperones are still needed to help out with that event, and anyone interested in helping out can contact Gina Sims at (307) 679-0791. 

The Sunday evening kick-off concert will feature a variety of performing groups, including the University of Wyoming orchestra and the LowDown Brass Band. According to their website, the LowDown Brass Band “features dynamic vocalists, hip-hop MCs and body movement that gets any wallflower up and on their feet.” 

The Sunday concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the EHS auditorium, and is free to the public. 

The Tuesday evening All-State Gala concert will also begin at 7 p.m., and will feature the band followed by the orchestra and concluding with the choir. Admission to the Gala is also open to the public; admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.


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