UCS high school band earns prestigious invitation to state arts conference
UCS high school band earns prestigious invitation to state arts conference
Posted on 12/16/2018
Photo of wind ensemble on stage in formal wearFor the second straight year, a Utica Community Schools music group has been selected to perform at a prestigious gathering of statewide educators.

The Eisenhower High School Wind Ensemble is one of five Michigan high school bands selected to perform at the 2019 Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids.

“We are proud that the Eisenhower High School Wind Ensemble will be representing the outstanding music programs in UCS at a state level,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said.  “This selection demonstrates the high level of respect awarded to our student musicians by Michigan educators and professional musicians.”

The 50-member ensemble will perform 45 minutes of music on January 25, 2019 at DeVos Hall, home of the Grand Rapids Symphony. Guest conductors and a professional solo artist performing a concerto will be joining the band. The wind ensemble is under the direction of Eisenhower music teacher Christopher Traskal.

The ensemble performs at Eisenhower Instrumental Music Concerts and Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association’s (MSBOA) local and state Festivals.  The group has also performed with the Oakland University Wind Symphony, Oakland University Brass Band and the Motor City Brass Band.

The Eisenhower Wind Ensemble has been recognized throughout Michigan for creative music programming and overall performance quality.  At the premier instrumental ensemble at Eisenhower HS, the Wind Ensemble has been consistent recipients of First Divisions awards at MSBOA District and State Festivals.

In 2015 the Band was part of the Michigan Music Concert (MMC) Opening Night "Collage Concert" in DeVos Hall.

Bands throughout Michigan auditioned for the right to perform at the conference. Entries were judged during a blind audition by a listening panel of instrumental music teachers.

The Eisenhower group is the first UCS concert ensemble selected to perform at the annual conference.

In 2018, the Malow Junior High School Jazz band was selected to perform at the conference.

Utica Community Schools continues to be honored at state and national levels for the high quality of its music program. The district was selected again this year as one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education.