Sweet Sounds During a Pandemic: World Premiere Composition Results From Virtual U of I Bandfest/Stringfest
May 27, 2021
MOSCOW, Idaho — May 27, 2021 — Rather than cancelling the Bandfest/Stringfest for high school students this spring due to the pandemic, the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton School of Music (LHSOM) found a creative solution.
Festival Fanfare, composed by U of I Professor Dan Bukvich, was created to commemorate the 44th year of the event and is designed to incorporate virtual performance recordings from participating high school musicians.
More than 150 students from 41 high schools in five states participated by submitting more than 90 videos. The submissions were featured in a video alongside members from the LHSOM Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band and various chamber ensembles.
“The faculty wanted to create something new and exciting for students. We wanted them to be able to walk away with evidence of their collective work,” said Vanessa Sielert, LHSOM director and music professor. “We combined our traditional instrumental masterclasses with a take-home assignment for students to video record their parts to a piece written by Dan specifically for them. In a year filled with virtual lessons, we wanted this to be special and memorable.”
Bukvich said Robert Spevacek, former U of I director of bands, also featured one of his compositions during the first band festival in 1978.
“The opportunity to compose another piece that would let high school students perform virtually with our university students and allow this tradition to continue in spite of COVID-19 was not to be missed,” Bukvich said.
The world premiere of Festival Fanfare also represents a thank you to the K-12 music educators who kept their students playing under unprecedented circumstances and have encouraged them to continue to perform music after high school, Sielert said.
Director/Professor of Music
Lionel Hampton School of Music
University of Idaho
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu