Saturday, March 7, 2015, Whitehall middle school band students joined band students from Arcadia, Alma, Blair-Taylor, Cochrane-Fountain City, Eleva-Strum, G.E.T., Independence Melrose-Mindoro Middle Schools to form the 2015 Couleeland Honors Bands. Three area band directors, Colleen Cantlon-Marler, Erik Hanson, and Karla Hulne developed the format for this group after much discussion on the need for advanced middle level band students to be challenged. It is fashioned after the Dairyland All-Conference High School Band held annually in the fall.
Last year’s success led to an expansion to two bands, a 7th (Caption for picture above – 7th Grade Honors Band – standing-Mykensie Beighley, Austin Moen, Jon Schwartz, Hayley Haas, Abby Olson, front – Jordyn Moats, Alli Casperson, Haley Erickson, Maggie Soppa) Honors Band and an 8th Grade Honors Band this year. The students are nominated by their directors based on ability and skill level. Once selected, students receive their music to begin practice. Festival Day is a long day of rehearsals with a final concert for the public that evening. Both bands did a great job!
Guest conductors Lisa Benz, long time middle school band director in Ellsworth, WI directed the 7th Grade Band. Jackie Goplin, former Whitehall Band Director leading the 8th Grade Band. Thank you to parents for supporting their children in this venture and to the students for their commitment to excellence.
(Caption for picture below – 8th Grade Honors Band – standing – Abbie Staff, Parker Windjue, Lauren Fields, Riley Frank, Abbygayle Herman, front row – Sabrina Ortiz, Matt Baken, Kaitlyn Molis, Jessica Zimmerman, Halle Geiger)