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Bromfield School hosting New England rehearsals for John Phillips Sousa concert

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HARVARD — The music department at the Bromfield School has announced that it will host rehearsals by the New England regional participants in the John Philip Sousa National Junior Honors Band.

Rehearsals will be held from April 20 to 22, with a concert presented on Saturday, April 22, at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg. The rehearsals at Bromfield will run from 2:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday.

The festival is open to strong woodwind, brass and percussion players from around the country in grades 7, 8 and 9. The concert in Fitchburg, and the rehearsals at the Bromfield School, involve regional participants from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

A number of students will participate in the festival including musicians from Ayer Middle School and the Bromfield School. Participating from Ayer Middle School in the “red” band will be Amanda Shaughnessy on flute; Lila Grallert on alto saxophone; Jeremie Nieto on trumpet; Joe Kapusansky on trombone. The Ayer “blue” band will include Christopher Croucher and Rayshelle Wright on flute; Leah Smith on oboe; Victoria Flynn on clarinet; and Lourdes Vidal-Krieger on clarinet. Ms. Rachael Godin and Ms. Allyson Cordio will direct the Ayer effort.

Representing the Bromfield School in Harvard and playing on the “red” band will be Kailee Rubin on clarinet; Philip Stapleton on tenor saxophone; Emily Etzel on trumpet; Benjamin Richards on trumpet; Julia Vasta on trumpet; Melanie Walker on French horn; and Rachel Leicher on trombone. The “blue” band will feature Julie LaMattina on flute; Sarah Steranka on flute; Rita Fagan on trumpet; Kristina Kronauer on French horn; Rebecca Turner on trombone; and Peter Duckett on percussion. Directing the Bromfield School musicians will be Ms. Andrea Barbrie and Mr. Thomas Reynolds.

There will be two honors bands, and the principal guest conductor for the honors bands will be Dr. Steven Grimo, conductor and commander of the United States Air Force Academy Band from Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

Richard Vars will be the second guest conductor for the honors bands. Vars is presently director of bands at East Providence High School, East Providence, Rhode Island.

A new addition this year is a resident guest composer, Dr. Joseph T. Spaniola, of Colorado, who has composed two new works for band that will be premiered by each group. Dr. Spaniola has composed works for band, orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, voice, choir, and electronic tape. Compositions by the composer have been performed in concert halls in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Also, state Representative Anne Gobi, D-Spencer, will be a guest narrator in one of the selections.

The John Philip Sousa Foundation offers several programs to support the cause of wind band music around the country as a way to bring honor to that most famous and respected of bandsmen, John Philip Sousa. One of the foundation’s most popular events is the John Philip Sousa National Honors Band, which is organized every two years. The band is open, by application, to all outstanding band students throughout the United States.

The concert will begin at 2 p.m. in the Stratos G. Dukakis Auditorium of the school, which is located on Westminster Street (Route 2A) in Fitchburg. For concert tickets call (617) 529-9402.

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