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Highschoolers strike up the Honor Band on Saturday
Tim Robblee

Rehearsals will proceed at a fast tempo when Tim Robblee and 60 band musicians gather at the Columbia Theatre this weekend.

After only two days of practice, the group will put on a concert of challenging band music, highlighted by a piece with speaking parts and various nontraditional musical sounds.

Robblee's quick round of rehearsals is part of the program for the 29th annual Honor Band, which will culminate with a public concert at 7:30 Saturday at the Columbia Theatre.

The event is sponsored by Lower Columbia College and coordinated by Gary Nyberg, who teaches music at the college.

Robblee, a native of Seattle, is director of bands and an assistant professor of music at Washington State University in Pullman. In his first year at WSU, he previously held a similar position at Willamette University in Salem. He's a Ph.D candidate in music education at the University of Minnesota.

Robblee, 40, said he's a veteran of conducting honor bands and clinics with high school students.

"The challenge for me is to very quickly identify the one or two things that are going to make the group better," he said. "There's not any time to waste. Then I have to structure the time and not tire them out."

After rehearsing Friday and Saturday, the students need to save some energy for the Saturday night show.

Robblee said the work will be fun as well as frantic. "The students are chosen because they're really motivated and really talented," he said.

The concert's featured work will be "Toledo" by Bruce Carlson. The work is inspired by a painting of the Spanish city Toledo by El Greco.

"It's a fairly contemporary one in that it uses a lot of different sounds," Robblee said — including "just finger and sticks and blowing breath through the instruments. It's very evocative and very striking."

Also planned are works by Strauss and Percy Grainger.

In addition to the Honor Band, the 70-member LaCenter Middle School Band will also play. The award-winning group is directed by Kelso resident Perry Calabrese.

Honor Band musicians include:

Piccolo — Emily Tesberg, Rochester.

Flute 1 — Halie Fewkes, Kalama; Brittany Vigoren, Rainier; Karissa Posey, Kalama; Stephanie Anderson, Kelso.

Flute 2 — Katie Fisher, Kelso; Mallory Arnold, Onalaska; Jillian Avalon, Mark Morris; Tasheena Pedersen, Rainier.

Oboe 1 — Helen Ontiveros, Rainier.

Oboe 2 — Tyler Vine, Kelso.

Clarinet 1 — Laura Barsalou, Mark Morris; Madison Keezer, Kalama; Anna Klausmann, R. A. Long.

Clarinet 2 — Adam Wisch, Kalama; Meagan Albright, Castle Rock; Devin Payne, Rainier.

Clarinet 3 — Jeff Koss, Mark Morris; Cassie Calabrese, Kelso; Roger Goosey, Kelso.

Alto clarinet — Meagan Albright, Castle Rock.

Bass clarinet — Preston Tate, Kelso.

Alto saxophone 1— Michael Cargill, Mark Morris; Jason Bagley, Kelso.

Alto saxophone 2 — Robert Neal, Kalama; Katie Madison, R. A. Long.

Tenor saxophone — Kyle Parsons, Kelso; Chris Cook, R. A. Long; Spencer Grubb, Toledo.

Baritone saxophone — Laura Mahon, Mark Morris ; Dale Chamberlain, R. A. Long ; Jessica Freeman, R. A. Long.

Cornet 1 — James Saavedra, Mark Morris .

Cornet 2 — Isaac Klander, R. A. Long ; Colten Sullivent, R. A. Long.

Cornet 3 — Connor Jolly, R. A. Long ; Richard Ontiveros, Rainier.

Trumpet 1 — Brian Fitzgerald, R.A. Long.

Trumpet 2 — Jacob Schmidt, Kelso.

French horn 1 — Perry Piper, Mark Morris.

French horn 2 — Lauren Jacky, Kalama.

French horn 3 — Kelsey Engebo, Kelso.

Trombone 1 — George Winn, Kalama.

Trombone 2 — Eric Gerdlund, Mark Morris.

Trombone 3 — Dara Rule, Castle Rock.

Euphonium — Andy Berra, Mark Morris.

Tuba — Jon Mintz, Castle Rock ; Matt Pollock, Kalama; Chris Kelly, Kelso; Thomas Petrie, Winlock.

Piano — Madison Keezer, Kalama.

Percussion — Alex Ahlgren, R. A. Long; Michael Czarnecki, R. A. Long; Joshua Davis, Kelso; Cody Graves, Kelso; Rachel Ontiveros, Rainier; Dan Steelmon, Kalama; Michael Walker, Kalama; Nick Wilson, R. A. Long ; and Blake Zytniowsk, Rainier.

What: Annual High School Honor Band concert, made up of top local students. The La Center Middle School Band, directed by Perry Calabrese, will also perform.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Columbia Theatre.

Tickets: $7 adults, $6 students and seniors. LCC students, staff and faculty are admitted free with LCC identity cards.

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