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High school bands team up with Loyola and award-winning composer for free concert

Loyola press release - March 17, 2014

Leading high school bands from Louisiana and Alabama will converge at Loyola University New Orleans Saturday, March 22 to participate in ensemble performances and workshops as part of the Loyola Invitational Bands Festival featuring guest conductor and award-winning composer Andrew Boysen, Jr. The all-day festival culminates with a free and public concert directed by Boysen with Loyola’s Wind Ensemble at 3 p.m. in Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, located in the Communications/Music Complex on Loyola’s main campus.

Held annually, Loyola’s Invitational Bands Festival invites select bands to New Orleans to work with internationally recognized guest artists. This year’s ensembles—selected from a pre-recorded audition process—are Faith Academy High School of Mobile, Ala., the Marine Corps Band from New Orleans and Fontainebleau High School from Mandeville. The festival begins at 9:30 a.m. in Roussel Hall with the high school bands performing until 2:30 p.m. The performances are also free and open to the public.

Boysen, assistant professor in the music department at the University of New Hampshire, is an active composer, receiving commissions from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Orchestra Festival, the Iowa All-State Band, the Rhode Island All-State Band, the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association, and many university and high school concert bands nationwide. Boysen won the International Horn Society Composition Contest in 2000, the University of Iowa Honors Composition Prize in 1991 and has twice won the Claude T. Smith Memorial Band Composition Contest, in 1991 for “I Am” and in 1994 for “Ovations.”

The festival is spearheaded by Loyola’s Director of Bands Joseph Hebert, Ph.D., and features the Loyola University Wind Ensemble with its 58 members playing 21 different instruments.