Vermillion students perform in music festival Four Vermillion Middle School eighth-graders were participants in the sixth annual South Dakota Middle School All-State Band Festival on March 4-5 at the T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre. The event sponsor is the South Dakota Music Educator's Association (SDMEA).
Jiwen Li and Alicia Enterman, who both play clarinet, were selected for the Honor Band, while Sam McBride, euphonium, and Marley Hammond, tuba, participated in the Festival Band. Enterman and McBride also participated in the festival as seventh-graders. Their band director is John Alpers, and their audition coach was Becky Rider.
Guest conductor for the Honor Band was Dr. Robert W. Smith, one of the most popular and prolific composers of concert band and orchestra literature in America today. The SDMEA commissioned Dr. Smith to write a piece for this year's festival, and the Honor Band gave the work, entitled Rhythmos, its world premiere.
The guest conductor of the Festival Band was Dr. Rolf Olson, who teaches brass, jazz, and marching band at the University of South Dakota.
There were over 600 auditions for this year's festival bands, with approximately 165 students from 92 schools being accepted.