By Robert Whitmire
Seven students have been selected to represent the SPASH music department in the 2016 Wisconsin School Music Association State Honors Music Project, culminating with a performance on Oct. 27 at the Overture Center in Madison.
The concert is held in conjunction with the Wisconsin State Music Conference and provides musically talented students with an opportunity to rehearse and perform with the nation’s finest conductors in a professional, highly disciplined setting. Students were selected through a rigorous audition process.
Two choir students — under the direction of Deb Pionek — will perform, including junior Theresa Yonash appearing with the Mixed Choir under the direction of Dr. Scott MacPherson, director of choral activities in the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University. Yonash is a member of the Concert Choir at SPASH.
Junior Ana Metzler will take the stage with the Treble Choir under the direction of Dr. Guy Forbes, composer and conductor at Millikin University School of Music. Metzler is also a member of the Concert Choir at SPASH
Junior Brennan Mattmiller will represent the SPASH bands under the direction of Brad Schmidt. Mattmiller will play the tuba in the Honors Band, which will be directed by former SPASH bands director, current director of bands and professor of music at Ohio State University, Dr. Russ Mikkelson.
Brennan currently plays in the Wind Ensemble and Jazz I, as well as the Marching and Pep Bands at SPASH. This marks his third year in the project, having played in the middle level group two years ago and serving as the principal tuba in the Honors Orchestra last year.
The SPASH Orchestra, under the direction of Cindy Kiepert — who also serves as the Wisconsin Music Educators Association State Orchestra Chair — will send four students to perform with the State Honors Orchestra on Thursday.
Senior bassist, Sean Hardiman; junior violinist, Hope Mahon; sophomore violinist, Alyssa Schroeckenthaler; and sophomore violist Frederick Van Tiem will take the stage at the Overture Center at 4:30 PM.
Each of the four have been members of various orchestras including the WSMA Middle Level Honors orchestra, the Aber Suzuki Center Orchestras and the Central Wisconsin Youth Orchestra.
Nobuyoshi Yasuda, orchestra director at the UW-Eau Claire, music director of the Chippewa Valley Symphony and associate conductor of the Grand Teton Music Festival, will conduct the State Honors Orchestra in concert. He holds degrees from Soai University, Japan and Indiana University.
The WSMA State Honors Music Project dates back to 1967.