South Dakota State University will host the In-Service Music Conference Feb. 8-10, bringing music educators from across the state to the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center for a series of workshops and concerts. Under the umbrella of the conference are the 87th annual South Dakota Bandmasters Association Clinic and the 54th SDSU Choral Day.
Always a highlight of Thursday’s events is the Elementary Festival Honor Choir program. Indianapolis-based conductors Ruth Dwyer and Melissa Garcia, both nationally recognized for their leadership of youth choirs, will conduct. Two choirs, each comprised of 120 talented fourth, fifth and sixth grade students, were selected from nearly 700 applicants.
University of Puget Sound Director of Bands Gerard Morris is the conductor-in-residence for the bandmasters’ events. South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Director Delta David Gier will give a much-anticipated keynote address. Oswego, Illinois-based Rachel Maxwell is this year’s young bands specialist-in-residence.
Performances from several instrumental ensembles will take place during the conference on Friday and Saturday. Ensembles performing include the Augustana University Jazz Northlanders, Ipswich Beginning Band, Lincoln High School Jazz Collective, Rapid City Central Jazz Combo, Scotland High School Band, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Wind Ensemble and the Yankton Middle School Band.
Three conference performances are free and open to the public. On Thursday, Feb. 8, the SDSU Choral Day Elementary Festival “Yellow” Honor Choir will perform at 3:30 p.m. in the Larson Memorial Concert Hall followed by the SDSU Choral Day Elementary Festival “Blue” Honor Choir performing at 5 p.m.
The SDSU Wind Symphony, conducted by Jacob Wallace, will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, in the Larson Memorial Concert Hall. South Dakota native Sarah Stoneback, trumpet professor at Montana State University, will perform as a guest soloist in the concert.
For more information about the conference, visit the In-Service Music Conference webpage.