Small Schools Band Festival featured 280 students from seven schools

Grays Harbor College shared details after they hosted the third annual Small Schools Band Festival at the Bishop Center for the Performing Arts late last week. 

The college tells KXRO that more than 280 high school band students performed at the festival. After each performance, students participated in an on-stage clinic, which provided them with the chance to receive feedback from professional musicians.

In between performances, Director of Music at GHC, Dr. Bill Dyer spoke to the audience. “Thank you to the Grays Harbor College Foundation for sponsoring this annual festival and the Grays Harbor College staff, administration, and trustees for their continued support.”

Dr. Dyer encouraged the students in the audience to consider Grays Harbor College as a next step. “We have seven music ensembles, lessons in most areas, two annual musical theater productions, and dozens of adjunct Music instructors who are ready to help you succeed.”

GHC’s Recruitment and Admissions Manager, Johnny Alavéz also spoke to the students, echoing Dr. Dyer’s words of encouragement. “Grays Harbor College is a great place to start out, whether you know what you want to do next or you don’t,” said Alavéz. “We’re here to help you out on that first step—and especially for all of you who want to do music.”

Alavéz commended the students for their accomplishments and encouraged them to keep going. “You all do something really special. You can actually see music, which is incredible. Dr. Dyer is here to help you continue with that study of seeing, visualizing, and living music. If music isn’t your future career path, we have a lot of other programs to help prepare you for your next step. If you’re in middle school or starting high school, we can help you with the World Class Scholars program or Running Start. Looking further ahead, you can do a two-year associate degree that can help you get set up to transfer to another college or university.”

Bands from seven schools participated in the festival, including:

  • Ilwaco High School, director Rachel Lake
  • Montesano High School, director Maria Hoffman
  • North Beach Jr./Sr. High School, director Jeff Simmons
  • Raymond High School, director Ian Kendall
  • Tenino High School, directors Andrew Bowerly and Jason Kochis
  • Willapa Valley High School, director Cooper Schlegel
  • Wishkah Valley High School, director Kyle Housden

The college says that the clinicians were Tracy Cripe, Franklin Pierce Schools; Marguerite Curley, Olympia Schools; and Dr. Richard Kuntzelman, White River Schools.