2015 “Spirit of the Carolinas” Marching Band invited to participate in the Grand Illumination Parade in Norfolk, VA

The 2015 “Spirit of the Carolinas” Marching Band has been invited to participate in the Grand Illumination Parade in Norfolk, VA on November 21.  The band will spend a day in Washington, DC to take in the historic sites before traveling to Norfolk.  The Grand Illumination Parade is one of several events the city holds to welcome the holiday season, and the parade is unique in that all participants must be lit up in some way; each member of the “Spirit of the Carolinas” will have some element that lights up: fiber optic lights on their hats, light-up rifles, glow-in-the-dark flag poles, etc.  The parade is judged and awards given out at the conclusion.  The band is looking forward to traveling out of NC and hopefully recruiting some new students from the Norfolk area.

UNCP Percussion Ensemble Performing at Percussive Arts Society International Convention

The UNCP Percussion Ensemble will perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, November 12. The students received a UNCP PURC Grant to help fund the trip.

UNCP Flute Choir Performing at 2015 UNCP Veteran's Day Ceremony

The Flute Choir will provide prelude and postlude music as well as play the National Anthem as part of the ceremony. The ceremony will be Wednesday, November 11 at 10:00 am at the UNCP water feature/amphitheater.

UNCP Jazz Ensemble Performs the Music of Billy Strayhorn

The UNCP Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Aaron Vandermeer, presents the music of Billy Strayhorn (1915 - 1967) in celebration of his 100th birth anniversary. As a child, Strayhorn spent his summers at the home of his grandmother in Hillsborough, NC, where he played the piano and was exposed to music of all kinds. Although he aspired to be an orchestral pianist, it was not a job available to African-American men at the time. Still, Strayhorn spent his time at the piano — composing and learning every kind of music he could. One momentous day in Pittsburgh (1938), Strayhorn met and performed for the famous composer and bandleader Duke Ellington. Now widely regarded as the greatest arranger in the history of Jazz, Billy Strayhorn became a cornerstone in the decades-long success of the Ellington band and revolutionized the sound of the jazz orchestra by virtue of his pen. Ellington once said, “Billy Strayhorn was my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brainwaves in his head, and his in mine.”

The performance is Tuesday, November 10 at 7:00PM at the Carolina Civic Center, 315 N. Chestnut St, Lumberton, NC

UNCP Percussion Ensemble Performing at 2015 North Carolina Music Educators Association Conference

The UNC Pembroke Percussion Ensemble will perform at the 2015 North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA) conference in Winston-Salem on Sunday, November 8 at Noon. The program consists of works by North Carolina composers, including UNCP faculty member Dr. Larry Arnold. UNCP faculty member Dr. Joanna Hersey will also perform with the ensemble.

News from Dr. Hersey

Dr. Hersey has recently released her first solo composition, a new work for unaccompanied tuba entitled "Convent Window."  The piece is in homage to the Medieval composer Hildegard von Bingen, and those familiar with Dr. Hersey’s recent recordings know she has included music by Hildegard on both her solo CDs, O quam mirabilis and Zigzags.  This new composition imagines Hildegard pausing for a moment of calm reflection during her hectic day, looking out of her window at the happenings of convent life outside. The work features the lower, most resonant area of the tuba register, with flowing melodic lines and forward motion.  The International Tuba Euphonium Journal has noted the composition is "a reflective piece not out of character with the ebb and flow of von Bingen's music, and well-executed as a very personal reflective work.” The piece is available from Dr. Hersey, or from Cimarron Music Press.

Dr. Hersey’s newest CD recording Zigzags has received a review in the most recent issue of the International Tuba Euphonium Association Journal.  Reviewer Mark Nelson notes “it is quite fascinating to hear the swirling textures, tuba riffs and pedal notes, as well as blending of analog and digital sounds” and Dr. Hersey’s "versatility and mastery of the instrument.”  The "entire album is quite different from what we would call mainstream tuba recordings. The original tuba and electronics work, a major unaccompanied tuba work all juxtaposed with Hildegard von Bingen, herself a musical visionary, sets this recording apart from anything else. Brava!”

UNCP Wind Ensemble Performing at 2014 North Carolina Music Educators Association Conference

The UNC Pembroke Wind Ensemble will perform at the 2014 North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA) conference in Winston-Salem on Monday, November 10 at 3PM.  The wind ensemble had to submit recordings and other application materials to be considered among many other ensembles in the state who would like to perform for all the music teachers in the state.  This great opportunity allows some of the outstanding music students at UNCP to be heard throughout the state. 


The UNCP band first played at a general session of the NCMEA conference in 2005.  They performed again in 2008 under invitation from the North Carolina Bandmasters Association.  That concert featured composer Samuel Hazo and his music.  This year’s invitation is again from the NC Bandmaster’s association. 

UNCP Trumpet Ensemble Performing at International Trumpet Guild Conference

The UNCP Trumpet Ensemble will be performing at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Pennsylvania on May 20th! Congratulations trumpet ensemble!

UNCP Voice Students Place Highly at 2014 NATS Competition

UNCP voice students NATS competition winners: Ally Ivey, First Place, JR/SR Musical Theatre Women, Ieisha Jones, First Place, FR/SO Musical Theatre Women, Nygel Robinson, Second Place, JR/SR Musical Theatre Men (students of Tracy Thomas),  Fabian Griffith, First Place, FR/SO Classical Men (student of Dr. Jaeyoon Kim.). These students will all advance to the national competition in New York!