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Students Selected for Honor Band

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 01/29/2018 Left to right: Luis Morales, Maxine Henderson, Kacie Johnson, Carlie Murley, and Dr. Traficante —Courtesy photo Left to right: Luis Morales, Maxine Henderson, Kacie Johnson, Carlie Murley, and Dr. Traficante —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — The 2018 Oklahoma Intercollegiate Honor Band Concert was Thursday, January 18 in Tulsa, Okla. and four Oklahoma Panhandle State University band members were among the group selected from 18 colleges and universities across Oklahoma to play.

Students representing Panhandle State included Maxine Henderson and Kacie Johnson, clarinet; Carlie Murley, trumpet; and Luis Morales, tuba. Panhandle State Director of Instrumental Music, Music Department Chair, Director of Music Education Charla Lewis was the group’s advisor.

The students arrived on Wednesday afternoon and immediately auditioned for chair seating. The auditions were followed by rehearsal for the remainder of the evening and the following morning totaling nearly 10 hours of rehearsal for the concert. The event was a great experience for the students.

Maxine Henderson commented, “My first impression of the convention was that it was built on hard work. When we arrived, the instrumentalists were practicing in the auditorium and very prepared for their auditions. The conductor, Dr. Traficante, was direct and on-task the entire time but still managed to sneak in funny stories and anecdotes about her teaching career and trip back to Oklahoma to make the 10 hours of rehearsal easier. The entire time she spoke, the band was quiet and respectful and when she suggested a change in dynamics or a correction of rhythm, they changed what they were doing immediately. As a freshman who’s never performed with a professional band before, the entire experience was completely surreal. The amount of talent and education in the room was astronomical.

After we performed, we went to the convention center where there were dozens of booths showcasing their schools, instruments, arts, fundraising methods, sheet music and memorabilia. I met an old friend and made several new ones. I saw how beneficial it is to make connections, especially in fields where reputation can make or break a good job opportunity. As an education major, this exposed me to examples of what a good teacher is supposed to be. The people there (the majority of them music teachers) were committed to the betterment of their profession and it was apparent each was willing to put in the hard work necessary to be an effective teacher. The entire convention was extremely beneficial. Not only did I see what experts (like Dr. Traficante) in their field knew, I saw how well they communicated it to others, which, as a future teacher, is what I aspire to do.”

Murley added, “It was an honor to be selected to play with the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Honor Band (OIHB). In my 10 years of playing music, this trip was by far the best trip I have ever been on and I have been on a lot. It is a rush to be able to play with other musicians that share the same love for music as you do and to play with some of the best musicians from colleges in the state. The OIHB left a huge impact on me. It not only motivated me to be a better player, but it also motivated me to be a better person. I would do it all over in a heartbeat.”

Dr. Debra Traficante was the clinician and conductor. Dr. Traficante serves as Kennesaw State University’s (KSU) Associate Director of Bands/Director of Athletic Bands, and Associate Professor of Music. Prior to KSU, Dr. Traficante served as Assistant Professor of Music/Assistant Director of University Bands at the University of Oklahoma where she conducted the Symphony Band, assisted in directing the “Pride of Oklahoma” Marching Band, taught conducting lessons to graduate and undergraduate students, taught graduate wind literature courses, served as the lead teacher for the undergraduate conducting and methods course, and oversaw music education students. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education, cum laude, from the University of Florida, a Master of Music degree in Wind Band Conducting form the University of Florida, and earned a Fellowship to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Band Conducting degree from the University of Oklahoma. She served as Director of Bands for five years at New Smyrna Beach High School, Florida and Assistant Director of Bands for two years at Buchholz High School, Florida.

Presented by The Oklahoma Music Educators Association and The Oklahoma Membership of the College Band Directors National Association, the event was at the International Ballroom in the Downtown Doubletree Hotel in Tulsa, Okla.
In addition to rehearsals and the concert, the students shared information about Panhandle State during a booth browsing session Thursday afternoon and they enjoyed a series of concerts that evening.