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UC hosts 2013 All Festival Band


Williamsburg, KY. - University of the Cumberlands (UC) hosted the Southeastern Kentucky Music Association’s All Festival Band concert on November 26th in the Kohn Theater located on UC’s campus. Thirteen high schools from the southeastern region of Kentucky participated, creating the Concert Band and the Symphonic Band which spent the evening entertaining its theater-packed audience.

High school students tried out in order to make it to All Festival. Then, the All Festival group practiced together in order to properly put together an outstanding concert for parents, community members, and peers.

The schools which participated were Corbin High School, Harlan County High School, Harlan Independent School, Knox Central High School, Lincoln County High School, McCreary Central High School, Middlesboro High School, North Laurel High School, Pineville High School, Pulaski County High School, South Laurel High School, Whitley County High School, and Williamsburg High School.

Ms. Debbie Harrod was this year’s Concert Band director. She is currently in her 31st year teaching at Washington County High School where she works as a band director. The Western Kentucky University (WKU) graduate stopped after the All Festival students had completed their first number to thank the parents of the participating band students who were on stage and under her direction. “I want to take this time to thank the parents of these wonderful students that are on stage with me that I have had the pleasure in the directing over the last few weeks,” said Herrod. “I want to thank you for your dedication and compliment you for allowing your child to enjoy and pursue music education. You are the front liners and this musical dream of theirs couldn’t happen without you. You are the ones who buy the instruments, have to bear with the noise as they are learning to play it, makes the financial sacrifices and who have to drive them to and from practices. I’m so proud of these students’ loyalty and dedication and that is usually learned from the parents.”

The Concert Band performed three numbers; Flight of the Pegasus, Jazz It Up!, On Wings of Eagles, and Southern Hymn. The audience seemed to enjoy the concert and would often sway to the music of the slower songs and bop their heads to the rhythm of the upbeat tempo songs.

The Symphonic Band was directed by Dr. David Clemmer, the current Band Director at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). He has a doctorate degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Texas and has been enjoying his career as a director ever since.

The Symphonic Band wowed the audience with their variety of selections including a couple of pieces that had a tango- style twist to them. They performed five numbers which included Americans We, Aria Di Chiesa, Courtly Airs and Dance, Flourish for Wind Band, and A Little Tango Music.

“It is important to always thank band directors as well,” reminded Herrod. “They dedicate their lives to music and to their students and often times do a fine job at keeping students out of negative places. If you enjoy playing an instrument, keep that in mind and take that talent on to college with you. You can get scholarships with musical talent. The University of the Cumberlands has a wonderful program and Dr. Sudduth is a great man to work under. People might want to pursue sports and other athletic talents and there is nothing wrong with that but when older bodies begin to die down, they will always be able to play an instrument.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit