LAKE PLACID — The 23rd Annual Heartland Honor Band Concert was held on Jan. 30, at the Genesis Center in Lake Placid. Providing educational services to the rural school districts of Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, and Okeechobee for more than 20 years, the Heartland Educational Consortium gives selected students, from each of these six counties, the opportunity to play in the Heartland Honor Band. Students to showcase their musical talent by working together with noted musical clinicians from around the country.
“Students continue to amaze us with their ability to present a musically diverse and stellar performance,” Donna Garcia, executive director of the Heartland Educational Consortium said, “Many people deserve recognition for this evening. This concert would not be possible without collaboration of orchestra and band directors from the HEC region. The directors devote countless hours.”
The middle school honor band was led by guest conductor, John Rosbottom, director of band at Oakridge Middle School in Naples. They played songs like “Colliding Visions” and “Jamaica Jack” which had the audience giving standing ovations.
Clinician Dr. Cindy Wagoner, associate professor of music education at East Carolina University, was the guest conductor for the High School honor band who played songs like “Shimmering Joy” and “Amparito Roca”, to show off their diverse talents. Wagoner led the students with visible enthusiasm and passion. Students also said they were beyond grateful for the guidance given by Wagoner, and school band directors.
The importance of music education in schools was highlighted during the concert. Music is an extremely important subject for students as research has shown it supports better brain development, increases human connection, teaches discipline, and provides stress relief.
Many of the honor band students stood up and spoke of how the directors and clinicians had helped them learn the importance of music in so many, different ways. Many also commented on how honor band not only proved the positive effects music has had on their lives, but also how the support shown between students and instructors made it feel like a family.
Throughout the evening, the theme resonated through the venue, that music is important. The honor band students showed that they had worked very hard and practiced for many hours to get ready for their concert. They played flawlessly, and thoroughly entertained the audience with their newly learned techniques.