Music hosts GMEA high-school festival
By Lauren Highfill
(Above and below) McEachern High School students who participated in the festival at KSU.
Photos courtesy of Emily Petway.
Hundreds of high-school students visited Kennesaw State last month for the annual Georgia Music Educators Association District 12 Solo and Ensemble Festival. Woodwind, brass and percussion students from high schools across Cobb and Douglas counties participated in KSU’s first hosting of the festival.
“Kennesaw State is becoming increasingly attractive for these types of events in part because of our new facilities and recent designation as an All Steinway School,” said Professor of Instrumental Education John Culvahouse.
At the festival, student participants performed solo and/or ensemble works for a panel of judges respective to their instruments. Several KSU members participated on the panels as judges, including Artists-in-Residence in Clarinet John Warren and Ted Gurch, Artist-in-Residence in Trombone Tom Gibson, Instructor of Percussion Studies John Lawless and Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Instrumental Studies Peter Witte.
Multiple KSU student members from the College Music Educators National Conference also participated in the event as volunteers. Staci Hatmaker, a music education major, wanted to be a part of the festival because it aligned with her career goals. She indicated that this festival was an opportunity for her to be involved with orchestrating these types of events. “I had the chance to observe what works and learn from this experience,” Hatmaker said.
Emily Petway, associate director of bands at McEachern High School and organizer of the festival, said, “This partnership between the university and our district is a win-win experience. Our county was able to have a top-notch event with superb judges and state-of-the-art facilities while exposing students to real university life.”