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Wheat State League Honor Band Brings More Than 120 Students to McPherson College

More than 120 top high school band musicians from around the area came to the McPherson College campus on Monday, Jan. 30, to learn under the direction of MC’s own Kyle Hopkins.

Hopkins, associate professor of music and director of bands, had the honor of being the clinician and conductor of the 2017 Wheat State League Honor Band.

Students from the high schools of Canton-Galva, Centre, Goessel, Herington, Little River, Peabody, Solomon, and Wakefield were all nominated by their school’s director to become part of the band.

The students rehearsed (for the first time together) during the afternoon, then presented a full concert that evening with the selections: “Sparks” by Brian Balmages, “A Hymn for Band” by Hugh Stuart, “Prairie Dances” by David R. Holsinger, and “Zia, Zia!” by Claude T. Smith.

The program also featured professor Hopkins on horn as a part of the professional “Heartland Brass Quintet,” which also includes Isaac Hopkins and Kyle Unruh on trumpet, Rob Tierney on Trombone, and Adam Keller on tuba.

“It was great for the honor band students to hear a professional level group,” Hopkins said, “And was a real inspiration for them to continue their music.”