The Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association's District 4 held its annual All-District Band Festival January 11 and 12 at Clarkston High School and two from Notre Dame's upper division, Rebecca Smith and Giuseppe Fregoli, were chosen to participate.
According to Joe Martin, Notre Dame's director of bands, the purpose of the Honors Band program is to recognize the achievement of outstanding musicians from instrumental music programs at Notre Dame and more than 80 other schools located in MSBOA's District 4.
“It's also a wonderful opportunity to build bridges between our school and other band programs,” Martin added.
Smith, a Notre Dame senior, said it was incredible to be surrounded by such amazing players from all over the district. "Nerves aside, coming together as a band for the first time only a day before the performance was both demanding and rewarding," she said.
Fellow Notre Dame band member Fregoli, a junior, also was impressed with the festival.
"My participation in Honors Band last weekend was an amazing experience that was a challenging, yet enjoyable test of my musical skills," he said. "It also allowed me to meet a lot of people from many different schools," he said.
Martin said that these types of events are not only great opportunities for many students to collaborate and create with other students, they're all collaborating and creating under the direction of experienced, professional guest conductors.
"As an example, Dr. Christopher Heidenreich, from the University of Michigan, and Rodney Whitaker, director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University, were on hand this past weekend to work with and conduct all of the students," Martin said.
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org