Clinic with Dr. Christopher Bianco

posted Mar 2, 2014, 6:15 PM by JOHN RANTS

Dr. Christopher Bianco will be working with the MP Wind Ensemble on March 21st!

Dr. Bianco is the Chairman of the Music Department and director of the Wind Ensemble at Western Washington University. Throughout his career Dr. Bianco has conducted ensembles in eight states and performed as a trumpet player in many others. Recent projects include a faculty performance of George Crumb’s Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death, two publications in GIA’s Teaching Music through Performance in Band and research into the works of Texas composer Donald Grantham that culminated in a lecture presentation at the 2006 CBDNA Southwest Regional Conference.
Christopher now holds the position of Director of Bands at Western Washington University. 

MP at Solo and Ensemble, as well as Ingraham Winterguard Competition

posted Feb 11, 2014, 4:58 PM by JOHN RANTS

Congratulations to the following students that performed last weekend at MPMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival:
Nick Novy, Flute, 2+
Sarrah Flynn, Flute, 1
Maggie Novy, Flute, 2
Mckenzie Chapman, Flute, 2-
Kyle Coon, Oboe, 1
Abbie Allen, Bassoon, 2+
Braeden, Federspiel, Bari Sax, 2
Jenny Baxter, French Horn, 2+
Flute Trio, Nick/Sarrah/Emily, 1
Flute Quintet, Nick/Sarrah/Emily/McKenzie/Maggie, 1 (1ST ALTERNATE TO STATE!!!!)

Congratulations also to the MPHS Winterguard placing 4th at the Ingraham competition

WMEA Parent Power Workshop

posted Feb 5, 2014, 10:43 AM by JOHN RANTS

This year WMEA has added a new event the the their music teacher convention week: the Parent Power Workshop. This workshop will provide useful information on various subjects, all of which are important for the parents of music students to have. WMEA's goal is to give parents the tools with which they can talk to teachers, counselors, administrators, school board members and other decision makers, from the local through state levels. This year's special keynote speaker is Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser. This workshop is on Saturday, February 15th at the Fourth Street Theater in Yakima.

Marysville Board of Directors recognition

posted Nov 21, 2013, 3:15 PM by JOHN RANTS

Drum Majors, Nick Novy and Elana Whorton, to be recognized at the December 9th Marysville school board meeting for their 1st place award at the Auburn field show competition.

3 selected for Pacific Lutheran University Northwest Honor Band

posted Nov 20, 2013, 7:20 PM by JOHN RANTS

MPBands is proud to announce that 3 members of the Wind Ensemble have been selected for the Pacific Lutheran University Northwest Honor Band. Wyatt Laangstrat, trombone, Lynette Malavolti and Matt Bordonaro on French Horn will be performing in one of the State's most prestigious honor band in January.

The Northwest High School Honor Bands will feature music performed by approximately 250 of the finest high school musicians from Idaho, Oregon and Washington. These outstanding high school students are recommended for participation in the event by their high school band directors and the concert is a culmination of two days of intense rehearsals with guest clinicians.

The Directors/Clinicians for the Honor Band are:


Gary HillGary W. Hill is Professor of Music and Director of Ensembles at Arizona State University where he conducts the Wind Symphony and the Chamber Winds, teaches graduate conducting, and is founder of the Digital Conducting Laboratory.

Prior to Hill's appointment at ASU, he was Director of Bands at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he also served as Music Director for the Kansas City Youth Wind Ensemble, and conducted two professional groups: the Kansas City Symphony Brass Ensemble and newEar, a chamber ensemble devoted to contemporary music. Previously, he held a similar post at East Texas State University and was Associate Director of Bands at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Hill began his teaching career in Michigan where he served as Director of Bands for the West Bloomfield and Traverse City public schools.

High school, university, and professional ensembles under Hill's direction have given performances for the National Band Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the College Band Directors National Association, the American Bandmasters Association, the International Horn Symposium, the National Flute Association, at many state conventions, and throughout North America, and Europe. Performances conducted by him have consistently drawn praise from composers, performing musicians, and critics alike for their insightful, inspired, and cohesive realizations, and for their imaginative programming.

As a guest conductor and clinician, appearances in more than a dozen countries and throughout most of the United States have included performances with myriad high school honor bands, numerous college and university wind bands and orchestras, at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, and at World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles' conferences. Additionally, he is in constant demand as a conducting teacher and as a clinician for bands and orchestras.

Hill's current research is two-fold: he is engaged in an ongoing investigation of digital technologies applicable to the conducting classroom; and he is writing a book on the past, present, and future of wind band.

Gary W. Hill is a member of numerous professional organizations including the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the Music Educators National Conference, The Society for American Music, The American Bandmasters Association, and the College Band Directors National Association, for which he hosted the Fiftieth Anniversary National Conference (1991) as well as the joint conferences of the North Central and Southwestern Divisions in conjunction with The Society for American Music (1998), served as president of the Southwestern Division (1989-91), and as national president (2003-05).

Travis CrossTravis J. Cross is an assistant professor of music at Virginia Tech, where he conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and teaches courses in conducting. He completed doctoral coursework at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where he studied with Mallory Thompson. He previously earned the bachelor of music degree cum laude in vocal and instrumental music education from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and the master of music degree in conducting from Northwestern.

Cross taught for four years at Edina (Minn.) High School, where he conducted two concert bands and oversaw the marching band program. In 2004, he was selected to participate in the inaugural Young Conductor/Mentor Project sponsored by the National Band Association. The same year he received the Distinguished Young Band Director Award from the American School Band Directors Association of Minnesota. From 2001–2003, Cross served a two-year term as the recent graduate on the St. Olaf College Board of Regents. In 2006, he was named a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the United States Department of Education.

Cross contributed a chapter to volume four of Composers on Composing for Band, available from GIA Publications. His original works and arrangements for band, choir, and orchestra are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Daehn Publications, and Theodore Music. Current commissions include works for bands in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Virginia. He has appeared as a guest conductor, composer, and clinician in several states and at the Midwest Clinic and leads honor bands in Massachusetts, Virginia, and West Virginia during the 2011-2012 season.

Western Washington University Instructors clinic

posted Nov 20, 2013, 7:15 PM by JOHN RANTS

Wind Ensemble will have the Oboe and Flute instructors from Western Washington University work with them on Thursday, November 21, during their rehearsal. They will be cliniced on fundamentals, as well as working with our Spring performance debut of Arabesque, by Samuel Hazo.

Cornish College of the Arts Clinic

posted Nov 20, 2013, 7:10 PM by JOHN RANTS

Jazz had a fabulous clinic Friday morning with Mr. Tom Varner of Cornish College of the Arts. Besides clinical instruction on their music for the Mill Creek festival, he taught them invaluable improvisation skills using his jazz French Horn.

Run to the Finish

posted Nov 11, 2013, 5:47 PM by JOHN RANTS

The 2013 Competitive Marching season ended Saturday, November 9th with a run to the finish! At 11:45, the Marching Tomahawks performed in the Auburn Veteran's Day Parade, placing 3rdAuburn’s 48th annual Veterans’ Day Parade is the largest Veterans’ Day Parade West of the Mississippi featuring over 26 High School Marching Bands from throughout the Pacific Northwest.

At 4:15 that afternoon, the Tomahawks took the field at Auburn High School in the Marching Band Competition, featuring 35 of the finest high school marching bands from Washington, Oregon and Idaho in our state's largest marching band competition. The Tomahawks placed 5th with a score of 65.70. Drum Majors Nick Novy and Elana Whorton took 1st place for best Drum Majors. Group photos will be available for purchase at

At the conclusion of the field show competition, the Marching Tomahawks ran home to perform once again for the day for the victorious Marysville Pilchuck High School Football team.


posted Nov 3, 2013, 9:24 AM by JOHN RANTS

Congratulations to the Marysville Pilchuck students selected to the 2014 WMEA All State Honor Band & Orchestra. Outstanding music students from across Washington have received top honors by being selected to participate in one of our 2014 WMEA All-State performing groups. The students listed below will join other outstanding high school student musicians in this gala event.
WMEA All-State high school bands, orchestras and choirs will meet in Yakima February 12--16. The finest high school musicians from our state will rehearse and perform in concert under the direction of world-renowned conductors. These WMEA All-State musicians were selected through auditions to participate in this outstanding event, which is sponsored by the Washington Music Educators Association.
Many professional musicians credit their All-State experience as crucial in their decision to choose music as a career. Thousands of others whose career paths took them in other directions have great memories of participating in this inspiring and motivating musical experience and claim that it was a life-changing experience for them.
Well-known Washingtonians who have participated in past years’ WMEA All-State groups include The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist David Horsey, 2008 National Teacher of the Year Andrea Peterson, and jazz saxophonist Kenny G.
Jenny Baxter
Concert BandFrench Horn
Matt Bordonaro
Symphony OrchestraFrench Horn
Kyle Coon
Concert BandOboe
Logan Plant
Concert BandTrumpet (Cornet)
Lynette Malavolti
Concert BandFrench Horn

2013 Volunteer Staff

posted Jul 28, 2013, 8:59 AM by JOHN RANTS   [ updated Aug 31, 2013, 2:01 PM ]

MPBands would like to congratulate Kat O'Brien on her new teaching position at Tulalip/Qul Ceda Elementary School. Kat will make an excellent addition to the staff at that fine school. We would also like to congratulate for his new teaching position and welcome:
Krislyn Odviar - Percussion Assistant. Krislynn returns to MPBands. Krislynn was a very active member in the MP Marching band from 2005-2008. She was center snare and drum captain. After graduation she continued to play snare drum and took some music classes at WWU. She is currently attending UW Bothell. We are certain she will be a tremendous asset to the program.

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