When Kyle Hopkins began as associate professor of music and director of bands at McPherson College it was all about the numbers and rebuilding a band that had dwindled to just eight members. Today with 50 students enrolled in the McPherson College Band, he is more focused on quality. The kind of quality that was recently recognized by the Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA) when it selected the band to perform at its state convention in February.
The McPherson College band is among concert bands from just four colleges selected to perform at the event. More than 100 other concert bands applied for the opportunity to perform in one of the coveted concert spots at the state convention. Hopkins submitted a recorded audition, which was judged in a blind screening. The band was chosen to perform on Saturday, February 24 in the first performance of the day at 8 a.m.
“It’s so cool,” Hopkins said. “I’ve done some checking and think this is the first time a McPherson College band has been selected to perform at KMEA. The big colleges in the state are always there and I wasn’t sure we had a shot so this is a very pleasant surprise.”
KMEA is the statewide organization for professional support to music educators. The KMEA state convention is attended by thousands of elementary, middle school, high school and college music educators and features workshops and clinics as well as performances by the all-state ensembles and selected performance groups. The 2018 convention will be held February 22-24 at Century II Convention Center in Wichita.
The McPherson College Band’s season will begin on November 19 with a performance at 4 p.m. in Brown Auditorium. Season highlights for the band include a band tour November 9-11 and the annual spring collaborative concert, this year with the Smoky Valley Band in Lindsborg on February 26 at the A.J. Steinberg Auditorium in Lindsborg.