School Spotlight: Winona Senior High School Symphonic Band

by Claire Philpott, Minnesota Public Radio
March 4, 2014

St. Paul, Minn. — School Spotlight highlights outstanding Minnesota school- and student-music ensembles during the academic year. Through this feature, Classical MPR hopes to expose listeners to the great music being made by young musicians across the state, and to generate more support for music education.

Today's audio features the Winona Senior High School Symphonic Band, conducted by Myron Haug and recorded on May 3, 2013, at the Big 9 Music Festival.

7:15 a.m. and 7:15 p.m.

  • David Gillingham:Intrada Jubilante

Fun fact: The original band director of the Winona Area Public Schools band program was Harold Edstrom, co-founder of Hal Leonard Corporation, begun in 1947 and now the largest sheet music company in the world.

Since its inception in 1937, the Winona band program has had only six directors. The program offers six different band-related ensembles, in addition to the two orchestras and three vocal ensembles. The Symphonic Band featured today is a 65-piece auditioned ensemble for 11th- and 12th-grade students.

Every spring, ensembles from nine major high schools in southern Minnesota cities — Albert Lea, Austin, Faribault, Mankato, Rochester, Owatonna and Winona — get together to play in a music festival. Founded in 1928, the Big 9 Conference (as it is known) originally focused on athletics but expanded to include a Music Festival in 1933 and a Speech Festival in 1940. The Winona High School Symphonic Band will again be performing this year on Friday, May 2, in Owatonna, Minn.

Being a true musician is so much more than just playing the correct notes and rhythms in an ensemble, as the directors at Winona clearly understand. Not only does music participation help with other academic areas, but it can be a source of personal pride and foster success in life. All the work that is put into practicing and really understanding the music requires discipline, integrity, positive character development and gratitude. The Winona music directors impress upon their students the importance of applying these traits they learn from being musicians to their daily lives.

Listen to Classical MPR in Winona on KLSE 107.3 FM

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