The John Philip Sousa National Honors Band-New England Region

The John Philip Sousa National Honors Band-New England Region

Mr. Jarod Bloch, Mr. Jay S. Gephart

Sat · April 20, 2019

Doors: 12:30 pm / Show: 1:00 pm

$10.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

The John Philip Sousa National Honors Bands-New England Region
The John Philip Sousa National Honors Bands-New England Region
The John Philip Sousa Foundation offers many dynamic programs to support the cause of wind band music around the country as a way to bring honor to that most famous and respected of bandsmen, John Philip Sousa. One of the Foundation’s most popular events is the John Philip Sousa National Honors Band, which is organized every two years. The band is open, by application, to all outstanding band students from throughout the United States. This program has been in existence for many years and has created outstanding opportunities for some of the most competent high school musicians in the country to come together and make music in the finest honors band setting. In 2001, the John Philip Sousa Foundation decided to create regional junior high school-level honors bands as a way to recognize the very special talents of junior high school-aged band students in grades 7, 8, and 9.

The very first regional John Philip Sousa Junior National Honors Band festival took place in South Carolina during October, 2001, involving students from Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. It was a tremendous success…so much so that now the members of the Foundation have created similar regional junior festivals in other areas of the country.

This festival is the one organized for the New England Region. The festival is open to the most outstanding woodwind, brass, and percussion players from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. It began in 2002 as a middle school festival for students in grades 7, 8, and 9; and continued that way for the 2004 and 2006 festivals. Because of the overwhelming response, the festival was opened up to students in grading 7 through 12 starting in 2009 and has been serving both junior high and high school students ever since. Currently, two honors bands are created from the many applications received or submitted from all over New England.

Our Mission & Objectives
1. To provide opportunities to perform in an honors band by junior high/middle school and high school students at their level of performance.
2. To create opportunities for junior high and high school musicians to further develop their musical and performance skills.
3. To provide opportunities for junior high and high school band directors and students to participate in special instrumental clinics and rehearsals.
4. To build support for school bands from parents, school administrators and communities,
5. To enhance self-esteem and confidence in the band student.
6. To motivate gifted band members by providing them with additional opportunities for the development of their special musical skills.
7. To provide bonding experiences with student musicians from other schools.
We are an Honors Band Program sponsored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation designed to promote wind band music for junior and senior high school band students in the six-state New England region of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut! Festivals have been held in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016 and most recently, a Sousa National High School Honors Band in 2018.

Current news about this festival along with necessary forms and brochures will be included on this website. Please check back often for updates and newsflashes.

Rehearsals will take place at The Bromfield School in Harvard, MA (Note: This has been changed) on Thursday, April 18, 2019; Friday, April 19; and Saturday, April 20 with a concert in the afternoon of April 20, 2019 at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA. The high school wind ensemble will be conducted by Mr. Jay Gephart, conductor of the Purdue University Band of West Lafayette, Indiana.The junior concert band conductor will be Mr. Jared Bloch of the University of Massachusetts - Amherst.

All eligible Sousa students in the 2016 Junior and Senior Honors Bands in Gorham, ME or in the recent 2018 Sousa National High School Honors Band in Boston who are in grades 7-12 during the 2018-19 school will be eligible for consideration to become members of this festival. Other outstanding junior high/middle and high school musicians from across New England who were not members of the 2016 Sousa Festival in Gorham will be considered for membership as well. If you would like to be considered for admission for this festival, please email Dr. Reynolds at by January 31, 2019.
Mr. Jarod Bloch
Mr. Jarod Bloch
ared Bloch is currently a graduate teaching assistant studying wind conducting at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has recently conducted several of the university’s ensembles in performance including the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, Concert Band, Brass Choir, Percussion Ensemble, and the Minuteman Marching Band.

During his time at UMass he has been invited to guest conduct the Anna Maria College Wind Ensemble and the Amherst Community Band. Additionally, he serves as the music education intern and assistant conductor of The Valley Winds, an audition-based community band in western Massachusetts.

Prior to attending UMass, Mr. Bloch spent three years as the band and choral director at Ayer Shirley Regional High School, in Ayer, MA. During his time at ASRHS he revitalized the music program, doubling the size of both ensembles as well as reintroducing the marching and jazz band programs, which the district had been missing for over a decade.

Mr. Bloch is a native of Westborough, MA and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with Performance Honors from the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. He has studied conducting with Dr. Matthew Westgate and Dr. James Tapia and has studied percussion with Thom Hannum, Ayano Kataoka, Tom Giampietro, Michael Bull, and Josh Dekaney.
Mr. Jay S. Gephart
Mr. Jay S. Gephart
Jay S. Gephart joined the faculty of Purdue University in the fall of 1995 after having completed 12 years as a public school band director. In July of 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure and in 2009 was promoted to Full Professor. In November, 2006, Professor Gephart was appointed Director of University Bands. He currently serves as Director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band and the Purdue University Wind Ensemble. He is also coordinator of the concert band program. From 1995-2006, Professor Gephart served as the music director for the Purdue Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Gephart received a Master of Music Degree in Performance with High Distinction from Indiana University in 1988 and a Bachelor of Music Education Degree with Distinction from Indiana University in 1983. Under his direction, the Purdue Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra have shared the stage with some of the nation’s outstanding soloists and have represented Purdue at the Indiana Music Educator’s Association state convention on two occasions. In February of 2012 the Purdue Wind Ensemble performed a concert at the national convention of the American Bandmaster's Association, held in Indianapolis. He has also served as a guest conductor, clinician, lecturer and adjudicator both nationally and internationally. He has commissioned numerous works for wind band, including "Anthem" by Steven Bryant which was premiered in 2011 celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Purdue Bands.

In May, 2008, he traveled with the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band to Beijing, China to perform in the “Meet in Beijing” International Arts and Music Festival prior to the Olympic Games and in 2006 his Purdue Symphonic Band performed at the New York Wind Band Festival at Carnegie Hall. Professor Gephart has conducted All-State Bands in Indiana and Arkansas and served as a clinician at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. In 1997, he was selected to conduct the music camp honor band for the Department of Education in the Northern Region of Queensland, Australia. In his career he has been the recipient of many awards and honors including the Indiana Outstanding Bandmaster Award and the Purdue University New Professional Award.

Mr. Gephart has been very active in various professional organizations including Music Educator’s National Conference, National Band Association, College Band Director’s National Association, Indiana Bandmaster’s Association, Indiana Music Educator's Association and Phi Beta Mu. From 2010-12, he served as President of the Big Ten Band Director’s Association and currently holds the position of Vice President and Treasurer of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He is also a member of the NBA Revelli Composition Contest selection committee. In 2012, he was elected to a position on the board of the National Band Association, serving as the Collegiate Representative. Professor Gephart was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmaster’s Association in 2008 and now serves on the ABA Board of Directors He, his wife Jana and their family reside in Lafayette, Indiana.
Venue Information:
Mechanics Hall
321 Main Street
Worcester, MA, 01608