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Generational Harmonies: 50 Years of Wabash County Honors Band & Choir

The inaugural Wabash County Honors Band & Choir performance took place in 1974. Now, in 2024, the Wabash Valley Music Association (WVMA) will celebrate the 50-year legacy of this program. On Friday, March 8, 2024, at 7:30 p.m., the Honors Band & Choir will perform at the Honeywell Center, accompanied by an alumni performance during the combined band and choir piece.  

Photo provided by Michelle (Hendrickson) Campbell (Honors Band 2003-2006) 


The Honors Band & Choir Concert uplifts the musical and artistic talent of high school students in Wabash County. The most talented high school musicians and vocalists are brought together every spring to present a public concert. Students from Northfield, Southwood, Wabash, and Manchester High Schools spend weeks rehearsing for the performance that showcases the tremendous amount of young talent in the area.  


Cheryl Draper, a Southwood High School Honors Band member, was part of the debut group of Honors Band & Choir students in 1974. She states, “I was in my senior year at Southwood when they announced the inaugural all-county event. I was selected for Honors Band. I was truly very proud and felt that it was a special honor to be part of this.”  


This concert allows students who have excelled in music education to work and perform with professional guest conductors and directors. Honors Band & Choir broadens the students’ experience and allows them to see how different music leaders work and convey their expectations. The WVMA provides artistic exposure and enrichment to area students through this program. 


Band students will be conducted by Dr. David Blon. Dr. Blon is the Clinical Assistant Professor of Bands, primary conductor of the Concert Band, and assistant conductor of the Wind Ensemble at Purdue University. Choral students will perform under the direction of Dr. Debra Lynn. Dr. Lynn is a Professor of Music, Director of Choral Organizations (Voice Study), and Conductor/Artistic Director of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra at Manchester University. 


Honors Choir member from Southwood High School, Daisy Sparks (2017-2020), expresses that she is “so thankful for the friendships made with choir students from other high schools while singing together.” Michelle (Hendrickson) Campbell (2003-2006), Honors Band member from Northfield High School, adds, “I loved being in Honors Band. It was one of my favorite memories, the practices at Manchester and Honeywell, leaving during the school day, and the groups of friends hanging out.” 

Photo provided by Daisy Sparks (Honors Choir 2017-2020) 

Honeywell Arts & Entertainment will host an exhibit presented by the Wabash Valley Music Association to celebrate the 50th Annual Honors Band & Choir Concert. The exhibit, titled “Celebrating a 50-Year Legacy,” will be on display from March 6 through April 8 at the Clark Gallery in the Honeywell Center. 


For more information, please visit or call the Honeywell Box Office at 260.563.1102. This concert is sponsored in part by the Howard M. Garver Wabash Valley Music Association Endowment and the Larry and Anne (Garver) Curless Endowment for Honors Band & Choir. 


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