Shippensburg University hosted the 74th Annual Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band Festival at the Luhrs Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 27. Founded in 1948, the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band is the oldest continuously operating band of its kind in the United States.
Student musicians and college band directors traveled from across the state to attend an intensive three-day weekend rehearsal program, followed by a free concert. Along with Shippensburg University, 19 other schools were present at the festival, including Bloomsburg University, Carnegie Mellon University, Juniata College and Penn College.
In addition, the festival annually invites a guest conductor to lead the group. This year, the students were under the direction of band director and professor of music, Richard M. Heidel of the University of Iowa. It was special to have Heidel lead the festival this year because before he started his career at the University of Iowa, he was the band’s former director at Shippensburg University until 2000.
Shippensburg also had eight of its own students participate in the festival; William ‘Ryan’ Cleary (timpani), Ethan Koppenhaver (alto sax), Ryann Libor (clarinet), Cassandra Oakes (percussion), Emily Osilka (tuba), Nicholas Snively (baritone saxophone), Thomas Stangel (trumpet) and Nathaniel Widmann ( trombone).
During the concert, the band performed the songs “Shimmering Sunshine” by Kevin Day, “Until Morning Come” by Andrew Boss, “Angels in the Architecture” by Frank Ticheli, “Washington Grays” by Claudio S. Grafulla and “El Camino Real”. by Alfred Reed. The students had not yet rehearsed these pieces together before the festival weekend.
“The Intercollegiate Band Festival was such a rewarding experience because we were only together for three days and were able to put together a fun and challenging program,” said SU Senior Tubist Emily Osilka.
The group of musicians is unique from year to year, so no performance is ever the same. At the end of the concert, Heidel and other guest directors paid tribute to the band’s director from Shippensburg University, Trever Famulare, for his contributions to the band and the festival as a whole.
“It’s always an honor to host the Intercollegiate Band Festival, which is my third time. To be able to watch nearly 100 students from all over Pennsylvania come together and focus on the music is an unfathomable achievement. They rehearsed and performed beautifully. , and I couldn’t be prouder of their performance. Shippensburg has truly set a new standard for festival hosts going forward,” said Famulare.