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UM News
November 13, 2013

MISSOULA – More than 150 high school musicians from 54 regional schools will descend on Missoula this weekend to take part in the All-Star Wind Ensemble at the University of Montana.

They will perform with the UM Marching Band in a special pregame performance at the Grizzly football game, which kicks off at noon, Saturday, Nov. 16, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The students also will perform a 2 p.m. concert Sunday, Nov. 17, in the Dennison Theatre. Concert tickets are $5 at the door.

The students hail from as far away as Portland, Ore.; Bellingham, Wash.; Richey, Mont.; and Green River, Wyo. They were selected by audition to take part in the All-Star Wind Ensemble.

Performing for a crowd of 26,000 in Washington-Grizzly Stadium alongside the UM Marching Band is just the warm up for the high school players. During the next two days, they will take part in master classes with UM faculty and renowned international trumpeter Rex Richardson and rehearse with James Smart and guest conductor Dahn Pham of Washington State University.

“The positive response to this event has been astounding,” said Smart, organizer of the All-Star Wind Ensemble. “We have students coming from tiny farm towns and large urban centers from five states and Alberta. It surely will show them that UM is the place to be if they are interested in quality, diversity and creativity.”

Smart said Sunday’s concert is open to the public and will feature two different 75-piece high school wind ensembles, a high school Brazilian percussion ensemble and guest appearances by Yamaha trumpet artist Richardson, the UM Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the UM Jazz I band.

This week, many of the all-star students also are preparing a performance that’s out of the public eye but no less pivotal. The School of Music will conduct scholarship auditions throughout the weekend, allowing out-of-town students to gain maximum value from their Missoula visit.

UM’s School of Music offers a full range of programs and professional degrees in music. The school also has boasted an impressive 100 percent placement rate for graduates of the music education program for the past decade. While these qualities make UM highly attractive, scholarship support can be the critical factor in determine whether dedicated all-stars choose to study at UM.

“UM is committed to student success, and scholarships for talented students are an important part of that commitment,” said Stephen Kalm, dean of UM’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

To learn more about supporting scholarships and the School of Music, call Christian Gold Stagg, UM arts director of development, at 406-243-4990 or email



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Contact: James Smart, UM director of bands, 406-243-4382,