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WAU Band Festival Allows Academies to Shine

Story by Steven Del Rio
Published on 4/3/2012

Students from Spencerville Adventist Academy perform at WAU’s band festival.  Photo by Ralph Vieux
On Students from academies around the Columbia Union and beyond converged at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md., for the university’s 2012 Honor Band Festival. The event provided the campus and surrounding community with a rich feast of musical activities served up by professional musicians and youngsters attempting to follow in their footsteps. Special performances were held at the campus church, Sligo, and Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md. The festival also featured, for the first time, a concert by the Potomac Brass, a professional band directed by composer Stephen Bulla.

WAU band director Bruce Wilson started the festival in 1998 when the Music Department consisted of 11 students. They now claim 50. Wilson believes it is important to work with young people to develop their talents. “If we don’t use our talent, we will lose them,” he said.

Master classes were held for musicians on Friday. The band broke down into groups by instrument and the professional musicians offered their expertise to the young musicians.