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Wisconsin student musicians head to UW-Green Bay for solo and ensemble festival

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Thousands of dedicated middle and high school student musicians from across the state are preparing for the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) State Solo & Ensemble Festival. UW-Green Bay will host this event from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 4 on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. It is free and open to the public.

“The WSMA State Music Festival is an enriching experience for all participants, both performers and their supporters,” said UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Kevin Collins, Festival Manager for UW-Green Bay. “It is also an opportunity for our music program to showcase our facilities and emphasize how much we value and support the efforts of our school music colleagues, their students and their families. We are fortunate to use the Jean Weidner Theatre and Fort Howard Hall in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, consistent with Chancellor Tom Harden’s initiative to reinvigorate the Weidner.”

Students must earn a “starred first” rating in Class A (which consists of the most difficult music) at a WSMA district music festival to qualify for WSMA state music festivals. The participants, in grades 6 – 12, can choose from a variety of instrumental and vocal solo and ensemble categories for their performances in district festivals throughout the state. During the past six months, WSMA has held more than 225 such events, involving more participants than any other student activity.

“Wisconsin music students continue to excel in their level of achievement and dedication to excellence,” said WSMA Executive Director Tim Schaid. “The WSMA State Music Festival provides a quality opportunity for them to share the talents and skills developed in the classroom while creating a lifelong memory through their state festival performance.”

Nine other university campuses will host performances by more than 32,000 students, making this event one of the largest of its kind in the nation. UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville and UW-Whitewater will hold festivals on April 27. Cardinal Stritch University, UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Parkside and UW-Stevens Point festivals also will be held on May 4. An evening Jazz Festival will take place on May 3 at St. Norbert College in De Pere.

Learn more about WSMA State Music Festivals and other programs by visiting www.wsmamusic.org. Festival information, including schedules and results, will be posted as available. For more information or with questions, contact Josh Barnard or Kevin Thays via phone (608-850-3566) or email (jbarnard@wsmamusic.org; thaysk@wsmamusic.org).

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