January 27, 2016

Talent of Hazen students highlighted at UND concerts

By Daniel Arens

Several Hazen students performed for the University of North Dakota (UND) Honor Band and Honor String Ensembles. Students from around the state can audition for a part in these statewide ensembles. The selected students traveled to Grand Forks over the past weekend, rehearsing several times before the concert on Jan. 24.
Cole Dauenhauer from Hazen was chosen to perform with the UND Honor String Ensemble, while five Hazen students took part in the UND Honor Band Ensemble. These were Tyler Wolf on baritone saxophone, Sameena Knopik on trumpet, Mikayla Ward on trumpet, Jacob Moeykens on French horn, and Ben Harvey on percussion.
Performers arrived in Grand Forks on Friday, Jan. 22, practicing Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning, before the actual concert Sunday afternoon. The honor band was directed by Dr. James Popejoy, Director of Bands at UND.
Students auditioned at the end of October, and those selected received the music before Christmas so that they have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the pieces.
Wolf described a wide variety of different kinds of music that were performed, including one piece that was all free-time: Dr. Popejoy directed every beat, but there was no exact time signature for the performers to follow.
“It was a really fun learning experience,” he said, noting the large change between performing in a band of 29 at Hazen compared to a band of over 120 students at the honor ensemble.
“It was nice, considering most French horns are usually alone,” Moeykens said, referring to performing with other high-caliber French horn players.
“You get multiple parts with [the honor band],” Ward said, explaining that she alternated between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trumpets during different songs, which gave her the opportunity to interact with many different students from other schools.
The students   enjoyed performing under Popejoy’s direction. “He was pretty fun to listen to, made it clear what he wanted,” Moeykens said.

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