By DEBORAH KELLEY
Special to Leader-Press
The Copperas Cove High School Band in partnership with The Band Room and CCISD hosts the 13th Annual Central Texas Music Festival beginning next Monday, February 1, and culminating on Saturday, February 6, at the Lea Ledger Auditorium in Copperas Cove. High school and junior high students, military as well as civilian adults from our region, will perform during the week culminating in a combined concert on Saturday with the CCHS Wind Ensemble and The Heights Concert Band from Harker Heights.
The Central Texas Music Festival exists to showcase bands and other musical ensembles by providing a non-contest environment in which to perform. This year’s festival includes performers comprising twenty-one groups, with participants coming from Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Harker Heights, Temple, Jarrell, Academy, and Ellison High Schools as well as Copperas Cove and S. C. Lee Junior High Schools.
Elaine Sakhnini, flutist and CCHS senior, has played in this festival each February since her seventh grade year.
“This is always my favorite concert because the directors choose really good music and it is fun to play,” Sakhnini said.
Director Emeritus Colonel John R. Bourgeois, USMC (Ret.), the twenty-fifth director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band (1979-1996), is making his third appearance as the guest conductor for the festival. Bourgeois entered the Marine Band as a French hornist and music arranger in 1958 and his career spanned nine presidential administrations, from Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bill Clinton. Beginning in 1979 and throughout the following seventeen years as conductor of “The President’s Own,” Bourgeois was music advisor to the White House, frequently conducting the Marine Band and the Marine Chamber Orchestra in the residence of The President of the United States. Bourgeois will guest conduct on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, directing several selections each night with various bands.
The 2016 Invitational High School Honor Band made up of select student musicians from Copperas Cove, Ellison, Harker Heights, Belton, Lampasas and Temple High Schools perform on Friday evening, February 5. Conducting duties will be shared by directors from participating schools providing the opportunity for the audience to experience a variety of conductors and play music from many genres.
On Saturday evening, the host band, the Copperas Cove Wind Ensemble under the direction of Andrew Nixon, Director of Bands at Copperas Cove High School, will perform. Following its program, The Heights Concert Band, under the direction of Carlton R. Morris, will perform the concert. To end the festival, the Copperas Cove Wind Ensemble will combine with The Heights Concert Band to close the festival with several challenging pieces.
“I look forward to hosting and participating in my first Central Texas Music Festival,” Nixon said. “The Band Room, and particularly Mr. Carlton R. Morris, have teamed with us over the past thirteen years to bring this festival to Copperas Cove each February, and are credited with bringing great guest conductors and musicians to Central Texas for the benefit of our students.”
All concerts are free and open to the public. Professional DVD’s and CD’s will be available to order in the lobby during each evening’s concert.
Schedule for Central Texas Music Festival 2016
MONDAY February 1, 2016 Lea Ledger Auditorium (6 p.m.)
Lampasas M.S. Wind Ensemble
Harker Heights H.S. Concert Band
Lampasas H.S. Symphonic Band
Harker Heights H.S. Symphonic Band
Lampasas H.S. Wind Ensemble
Harker Heights H.S. Wind Ensemble
Lampasas H.S. Jazz Band
TUESDAY February 2, 2016 Lea Ledger Auditorium (6 p.m.)
Copperas Cove Jr. H.S. Concert Band
S. C. Lee Jr. H. S. Wind Symphony
Copperas Cove Jr. H. S. Symphonic Band
S. C. Lee Jr. H.S. Honor Winds
Copperas Cove Jr. H. S. Wind Ensemble
Temple H. S. Highlighters
THURSDAY February 4, 2016 Lea Ledger Auditorium (6 p.m.)
Jarrell H.S. Band
Academy H.S. Band
Ellison H.S. Wind Ensemble
Temple H.S. Wind Ensemble