The 33rd Annual Band Festival is scheduled for November 2 | New
The 33rd Annual Orchestra Festival will be held on Tuesday, November 2 at Looogootee High School in the Jack Butcher Arena starting at 7 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.
The Festival of Bands currently consists of six school groups from the region. These groups include: Barr-Reeve High School Band conducted by Stephanie O’Brian, Loogootee High School Band conducted by Amy Hamm, Mitchell High School Band conducted by Zachary Tibbs, North Daviess High School Band conducted by by Jeff Vandermel, Shoals High School Band conducted by Joel Weitkamp, and South Knox High School Band conducted by Jennifer Erickson. The festival was started 33 years ago by retired directors Betsy Graves and Joyce Kim-Rohrer.
The vision of the festival was to give students the opportunity to work with a prominent guest conductor and perform in a large brass band. Most of the schools in the area are smaller groups due to the size of the schools and some music cannot be played due to the school’s smaller instrumentation. The festival allows students to gain more experience with different types of music. As the festival grew stronger, directors began commissioning works for the event. Directors commissioned: “The Spirit Soars” by James Curnow (2003), “Shadows of the Equinox” by Robert Sheldon (2010), “Dance of Chivalry” by Matt Conaway (2013), and most recent, “Mirror March By Benjamin Taylor (2017). The aim of the commission was to give students at least one chance in their high school career to be part of the music creation process and to meet a prominent composer.
Beyond the commission, there were several guest soloists for the event. In 2000, professional saxophonist Paul Bro was the guest soloist. In 2001, Melissa Williams, a local professional musician and graduate of Loogootee, was tuba. In 2002, Director of Groups and Chair of the Music Department at the University of Vincennes Sharon Jackson on marimba. The group also created an Honor Jazz Band for the event. Students from all six groups are invited to submit an application to be part of the jazz group. Students are selected on the basis of their application and the recommendation of their supervisors.
The guest conductor this year is Janis Stockhouse. Stockhouse recently retired after 38 years as a group principal at Bloomington High School North in Bloomington, Indiana. Prior to this role, she was Choir and Orchestra Director of North Vermillion Junior-Senior High School for four years. She received her BA in Music Education from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she studied trumpet with William Adam and Louis Davidson. She received her Masters of Music from Indiana State University. His mentors include David N. Baker, Ray E. Cramer, William Revelli, Dominic Spera, Ron Modell and Stephen W. Pratt.
In Bloomington North, Stockhouse has conducted the Symphony Orchestra, Intermediate Concert Band, Advanced Jazz and Lab Ensembles, and has taught AP Music Theory. She also served as the Assistant Director of the Cougar Marching Band, conducted the basketball marching band, and oversaw the jazz combo program.
During their tenure at Bloomington High School North, the Advanced Jazz Ensemble performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in 1982, 1987, 2008, and 2018. Their jazz bands and combos have also been invited to perform at the IAJE and JEN annual conventions on the seven occasions. In 2002, the Jazz Ensemble and Best Concert Orchestra toured Europe for two weeks of concerts, culminating with performances at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Mid-Europe Music Clinic. The Cougar Marching Band has appeared in the Tournament of Roses Parade as well as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Bloomington North Symphony Group qualified for the final of the ISSMA State Concert 33 of 35 with two State Championships and 30 in the top eight.
Stockhouse is a Fellow and Past President of the Indiana Bandmasters Association, Fellow of IMEA / NAFME, Fellow of Phi Beta Mu, Fellow of JEN, and Member of the IAJE Board of Directors. She was named Outstanding Music Educator of the Year 1997 by the IMEA, 2005 Educator of the Year by the Bloomington Area Arts Council, received the 2007 Al Cobine Award, and received the 2007 Outstanding Conductor Award from Phi Beta Mu, Gamma Chapter. In 2015, she received the John LaPorta Outstanding Jazz Educator Award, and in 2016, the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation named her David Baker Indiana Jazz Educator of the Year. She is co-author of a book called “JAZZWOMEN; Conversations with 21 Musicians ”, published by Indiana University Press in 2004. She recently received the Phi Beta Mu“ 2020 Hall of Fame Award ”and next December she will receive the 2021 Medal of Honor at the Midwest International Band and Clinic of orchestra in Chicago.