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Busy and Engaging Spring for GHS Band Students
The band students at Geneva High School have had a very engaging and successful semester with guest musicians and special performances throughout the semester.  

“We are proud of all our students and are pleased to have provided them with these great opportunities,” said Band Director Neal Shipton. “We are so grateful for the parents and everyone in the Geneva community for all their support of the Geneva Band Program, and for the encouragement that they give our students daily. A special thanks to our wonderful Geneva Music Boosters for providing the financial support necessary to make these experiences happen!”

Concert Band Performs at Batavia Band Festival

On Saturday, February 11, the Geneva High School Concert Band performed at the Batavia Band Festival at Batavia High School. The students performed Prairie Dances by David R. Holsinger and Anthem for Winds and Percussion by Claude T. Smith. Students also had a clinic with Mr. John Heath, a professional music educator who served as the Band Director at Batavia High School for 22 years before retiring in 2012 and past president of the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA). They received written and audio feedback on their performance from a panel of professional music educators/adjudicators who watched their performance.

Combined Bands Clinic with Mr. Robert Sheldon
Composer Robert SheldonFamed composer Robert Sheldon visited all band students in the combined GHS Concert Band and Wind Ensemble on Monday, March 20. Mr. Sheldon worked with them on his 2009 composition for wind ensemble, Choreography. Mr. Sheldon, who is among the most-performed composers of band music in the world, shared his expertise, knowledge, and insights with the students during their 2nd hour band rehearsal. The opportunity to work with a composer of Mr. Sheldon’s renown on his own musical composition is, for many students, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “It was an educational and thoroughly enjoyable time for all the students,” said Shipton.

Students Perform at GHS Solo & Ensemble Festival

Solo & Ensemble FestivalOn Tuesday, April 11, GHS band students performed at the GHS Solo & Ensemble Festival. A panel of two professional musicians/adjudicators worked with the students after each performance, providing valuable feedback and suggestions for continued improvement and growth. All the students who participated will receive a sheet of written comments from the adjudicators.  “We are proud of these students who volunteered their time to rehearse additional music - on their own - outside of our daily band rehearsals (months ahead of time, in some cases) and then performed for a panel of judges,” added Shipton. “Such commitment, dedication, hard work, and willingness to learn and grow benefits not only these students, but all the students in the band program who work and interact with them in our regular band rehearsals each day. Bravo!”

Percussionists Clinic with Mr. William Jastrow
During 2nd period on Thursday, April 13, renowned educator, musician, and percussionist William “Bill” Jastrow worked with the combined percussion ensemble (students from both our Wind Ensemble and our Concert Band) on a 1998 composition entitled Millennium. The students are preparing for a performance of this piece at the upcoming GHS concert on Tuesday, May 2nd. Mr. Jastrow’s professional experience comprises more than 40 years of vocal and instrumental music teaching and music education administration in Illinois public schools. A retired member of the Indian Prairie School District 204 music faculty, Mr. Jastrow maintains an active schedule as a conductor, clinician, arranger, and music education advocate. He has appeared as a clinician/conductor at numerous district, state and national music conferences and festivals, including the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference and as conductor of the Illinois All-State Band. “We were excited for the opportunity to have him share his expertise, experience, and wisdom with our percussionists,” Shipton said.

Wind Ensemble Winds Clinic with Dr. Thomas Bough

Dr. Thomas Bough worked with the Wind Ensemble wind students during 2nd period on April 19 on October by Eric Whitacre, which they are preparing to perform at our upcoming Spring Band Concert. In addition to serving as Director of Huskie Bands at Northern Illinois University where he conducts the Wind Symphony and Athletic Bands and teaches graduate conducting and instrumental arranging, Dr. Bough is an active conductor, arranger, composer, clinician, and adjudicator for concert band, marching band, and brass band. “We are excited to have had the opportunity to offer this great, educationally rewarding experience for our students,” said Shipton.