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HTSD hosts 70th annual Allegheny Valley Honors Band Festival

HTSD hosts 70th annual Allegheny Valley Honors Band Festival
Zachary D'Amico

HHS band director Chad Himmler observes that while school districts often find themselves in competition, music is one area where school districts unite as a team to accomplish something greater — an experience that can only be achieved by working together. This sentiment resonated profoundly during the 70th annual Allegheny Valley Honors Band Festival, an event proudly hosted by HTSD on Jan. 4 and 5.

The festival featured both a Senior High and Junior High Honors Band, culminating in an evening concert on Jan. 5 in the Hampton High School Auditorium.

The Senior High Honors Band consisted of 100 students in grades 10-12, and the Junior High Honors Band featured 108 students in grades 7-9. The Allegheny Valley Band Association includes nine schools: Avonworth, Northgate, North Hills, North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, Shaler Area, Hampton, Fox Chapel, and Riverview.

Thirty-five Hampton students earned positions in the Allegheny Valley Honors Band. To earn their spot in the festival, each student prepared a solo piece for their instrument and faced blind auditions in front of a panel of judges in November. About 500 young musicians audition for the Allegheny Valley Honors Band.

“It is an honor to host this festival as it is a way to showcase the power of music-making to the Hampton community,” said Himmler. “It's a beautiful thing to experience students from different school districts, with a very diverse set of beliefs and backgrounds, decide to work together and support each other in the pursuit of creating meaningful, emotional, and exciting music at the highest levels.”

The Senior High Honors Band was conducted by Dr. Jason Worzbyt, Professor of Bassoon and Adult & Community Bands Director at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Junior High Honors Band duties fell to Dr. Zach Cheever, Assistant Music Professor and Athletic Bands Director at IUP, where he leads the Symphony and Marching Bands.

Hampton students in the AV Junior High Honors Band included Logan Brady, percussion; Mabel Buben, flute; Oliver Clark, trumpet; Joy Dakin, tuba; Gab Duarte, bass clarinet; Grace Girard, clarinet; Lucijan Huckle, percussion; Richard Ma, alto saxophone; Jordyn Moyer, horn; Sydney Osborne, trombone; Catie Parker, clarinet; James Parker, trumpet; Aiden Rauso, trombone; Jinwon So, trumpet; Celia Vitiello, bass clarinet; Meredith Wallace, percussion; and Liam Webb, horn.

Hampton students in the AV Senior High Honors Band consisted of Jason Andrews, trumpet; Meghan Armstrong, clarinet; John Bianco, bari saxophone; Aidan Casey, trumpet; Paul Dakin, trombone; Molly Ehman, flute; Brady Fanuele, tuba; Drew Girard, percussion; Branson Himmler, percussion; Braylee Himmler, trombone; Anna Houpt, clarinet; Tim Madden, trumpet; Samantha Nicely, clarinet; Tanner Paczan, tuba; David Poirier, tuba; Peleh Shaltes, trumpet; Nolan Smith, clarinet; and Jinho So, clarinet.