Friday, February 14, 2020 - 22:12

This year’s Colorado State University-Pueblo Festival of Winds is out of this world.

″‘Mare Tranquillitatis’ commemorates the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon, while the premier performance of ‘We Choose To Go To The Moon’ anticipates a growing desire to return to and colonize the moon,” said Alan Mills, festival director and professor of music at CSU-Pueblo

“We are excited to be performing two works by our Composer-In-Residence, Roger Zare, at the festival this year.”

CSU-Pueblo’s Department of Music is hosting the event that represents 44 high schools across Colorado as part of the 12th annual Festival of Winds, Thursday through Saturday.

The event, which has grown from one honor band to be the largest such annual event in Colorado, brings in more than 350 high school students from across the state to the Belmont Campus.

The three-day event will feature four high school honor bands as well as a world premiere performance written by Zare, instructional assistant professor of music theory and composition at Illinois State University, and performed by the University Wind Ensemble.

The concert will be performed in Hoag Recital Hall from 10:45 a.m. to noon Saturday. The concert is free.

In addition to four music director-recommended high school honor bands, the festival also features master classes, graduate credit for participating directors and exhibition concerts by the Heritage High School Concert Band at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The United States Air Force Academy Concert Band concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and the Top of The Hill Director’s Band is set for 10:15 a.m. Friday.

Each of these concerts is free and will take place in Hoag Recital Hall.

Pueblo South, East, Central, Centennial, Pueblo County and Pueblo West high schools will participate, as will students from Canon City and Florence high schools.

Students are selected through a recommendation by their high school band teachers. This year’s event brought in over 550 director recommendations from across the state.

This year’s guest conductors include Ken Singleton, director of bands emeritus, University of Northern Colorado; Yixin Wan, associate professor at the Nanchang University School of Music in China; Patrick K. Carney, associate professor of Music Education and director of instrumental music at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C.; and Nikk Pilato, associate director of bands at Indiana State University.

The Honor Bands Finale Concert is scheduled to perform at Pueblo Memorial Hall from 4-6:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission for this event is $8 adults; $5 students, seniors, and veterans; and children age 5 and under are free.

Mills said the philosophy of the festival is based on the idea that band directors from all high schools know who their deserving students are. It is up to the high school band directors to recommend up to 15 students for participation.

“All directors who submit names are ensured to have at least two students selected for participation. Selected students are then given performance materials to prepare for their audition, which takes place at the start of the festival,” Mills said.


Those students who rate highest in the audition process are placed in one of two equally weighted wind orchestras. Students who are not selected for a wind orchestra are placed in one of two symphonic bands, which also are equally weighted in ability based on audition results.

For more information or to see a complete list of events, visit the Festival of Winds website: , or contact CSU-Pueblo music professor, Alan Mills, festival director, directly at: or 719-549-2521.

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