Hersey Symphonic Band is marquee performer at IMEA Conference
The John Hersey High School Symphonic Band, under the direction of Scott Casagrande, delivered the marquee concert performance at the Illinois Music Education Association Conference Jan. 30 in the Peoria Civic Center Theatre.
The performance, which Hersey's band shared with the Illinois State University Wind Symphony, drew some 500 Illinois music educators in attendance, making it the most well-attended event at this year's conference.
Guest conductors for Hersey included Dr. Michael Fansler from Western Illinois University and Dr. Anthony Marinello from Illinois State University. The concert also featured trombone soloist Elliot Chasanov, a professor at the University of Illinois.
The 55-member band performed the music of Claude Debussy, William Schuman and Axel Jorgensen, as well as contemporary composers Steven Bryant, Wayne Oquin and James Stephenson.
"Thursday was one of the most special performances of my 33-year career," said Casagrande, Hersey's director of bands. "It was a privilege to lead our driven and talented students in an emotional and satisfying performance.
"I look forward to our upcoming performance in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on March 5. I am sure it will be a memorable performance in front of approximately 1,200 people, as well."
In addition to their Kennedy Center performance in March, the Hersey Symphonic Band also will be featured as Honor Band at the Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival hosted by the University of Illinois in May.