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Each fall, Olivet College welcomes high school students from across the state for its annual High School Honor Band. The Honor Band is an ensemble comprised of some of the state’s best high school instrumentalists. On Nov. 9, OC will welcome the largest Honor Band in school history with 125 students coming together from 37 high schools to learn about life as a Comet. Nominated by their high school band directors, students spend the day in rehearsal and sectionals working with music faculty and students, experiencing firsthand what it is like to be an Olivet music student. The day’s work culminates in a concert, joined by the Olivet College Wind Ensemble.

Become a Comet Music Student for a Day

Jeremy Duby, director of bands at OC, couldn’t be more excited to share his passion for music with so many students. “The Honor Band is a program which highlights students from multiple programs and shares different performance, rehearsal and advocacy standards,” he said. “It enables students to see how other schools rehearse and perform, and how similar collegiate level rehearsing compares to what they are already experiencing. Music is an art where students who don’t know each other prior to this day are able to come together, communicate and perform new music as one ensemble. It is also a testament to the great teaching happening in our schools throughout this state, and it shows visiting students what it is like to not only be a college music student for a day, but more importantly, an Olivet Comet for a day!”

In addition to specialized rehearsals, students in the Honor Band will also have the opportunity to tour campus, dine in the Kirk Center and hear from current band members in a student panel to dive deeper into student life and academics. Students are also able to take their new musical experiences back to their high school band rooms to share with their peers. Further, parents may attend a special admissions and financial aid presentation to learn more about Olivet’s scholarships and other resources to help make college affordable.

A Twofold Experience

While the Honor Band is designed to share a true college experience with high school students, it also has a positive impact on current Comets. The twofold experience introduces high school students to college and gives them the tools to make an informed college decision, while OC students are given the opportunity to serve as mentors, answering questions and helping others learn from their own unique experiences. In fact, participating in the Honor Band helped current Olivet College drum major Abigale Smith make her decision to become a Comet.

See the High School Honor Band in Action

The OC Honor Band and Wind Ensemble Concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 in the Upton Gymnasium. Musical selections include “Liberty Bell March” by John Philip Sousa, “Rhythm Stand” by Jennifer Higgden and “Variations on an African Hymnsong” by Quincy Hilliard. The concert is free and open to the public.

“The honor band will provide an experience for prospective future Comets like no other. Spending an entire day making music, meeting new friends from across the state, and understanding what a day in the life is like for an Olivet College student will make a very special experience,” explained Kramer Milan, an adjunct instructor who teaches special music classes and leads the Marching Comets drumline. “The collaboration between the Honor Band and the Olivet College Wind Ensemble during the evening concert will allow all of our prospective Comets a chance to understand what it’s like to perform with a serious college-level ensemble. It will be a perfect end to a day packed with fun, learning and growing!”

Learn more about performing arts opportunities at Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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