West Virginia University will host its 29th annual Invitational High School Honor Bands event this week.

About 350 student musicians, representing more than 100 high schools in West Virginia and surrounding states, will participate. The high school students are recommended by their band directors and selected on the basis of their ability and accomplishments.

Students audition Thursday evening (Feb. 14) and rehearse for two days before presenting the annual Honor Bands Concert at 2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 16) in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at the WVU Creative Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

The event is hosted by WVU Director of Bands John Hendricks and Associate Director Jay Drury. Many of the high school band directors also accompany their students to the event, which serves as a workshop and observation opportunity for area music teachers.

Much of the success of our Honor Bands is due to the outstanding guest conductors who bring their talents to Morgantown each year,Hendricks said.

This years conductors are William Galvin Jr., band director at Trinity High School in Washington, Pa.; David L. Mills, director of bands at the University of Connecticut; and Samuel R. Hazo, an award-winning symphonic band composer and educator from Pittsburgh.

As part of the weekend activities, the WVU Wind Symphony will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 15) in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre. This ticketed event will also feature the guest conductors for the WVU Invitational Honor Bands event.

Galvin has been awarded the National Band Associations Citation of Excellence three times and the Citation of Excellence by the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association. He was also named Teacher of the Year by the New Brighton School District.

Mills joined the music faculty at the University of Connecticut in 1990 as assistant director of bands. He has served as the director of the UConn Marching Band and conductor of the Symphonic, Concert and Varsity Pep bands. He was appointed director of bands in 1997.

Hazo became the first composer to win both composition contests sponsored by the National Band Association in 2003. He has composed for the professional, university and public school levels in addition to writing original scores for television, radio and the stage.

For more information about the concerts, call 304-293-SHOW.