Little Rock, Arkansas
In the words of Wes Branstine, the conductor, “The HSU Brass Band participated in the North American Brass Band Association Championships Saturday, April 12, and got third place in our division! When you compete nationally you expect the competition to be tough and it was. We were beaten three points (out of 300) for first place by the Spires Brass Band of Maryland, and by 6/10ths of a point for 2nd place by the New England Brass Band of Boston. Both of these bands are long-standing competitors at these contests. Fourth place went to the Spokane (Washington) British Brass Band.
“Throughout the competition our HSU students exhibited great confidence, poise, and presence, and when we took the stage our performance was absolutely our best ever. I tell you truthfully I could not be more proud.
“The NABBA also has a solo competition for individuals in the different bands. The competition is divided into age groups and musical styles. In the adult technical division (18 years and older, including college music faculty and even professional players) HSU trombonist Mark Windham won FIRST PLACE. In the adult lyrical division HSU trombonist Tyler Braxton won THIRD PLACE. The boys received their awards at the evening concert in front of an audience of at least a thousand or more people. You can imagine how we burst into cheers when we heard their names and “from Henderson State University” announced twice. I am extremely proud of these students and a little flabbergasted that they both study with me!”