Musical conference with concerts

HOT SPRINGS — Arkansas’ 53rd All-State Music Conference wraps up today at the Hot Springs Convention Center, with performances involving high school and college students from across the state.

The music conference hosts more than 1,100 student performers who will perform throughout the day, and admission is free and open to the public, said Julia Reynolds, executive secretary-treasurer of the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association. The conference started on Wednesday afternoon.

Today’s concerts will begin at 10:45 a.m., beginning with the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association jazz band at Horner Hall, followed by the orchestra, concert band, symphony orchestra and symphony wind concerts starting at 12 p.m. at Bank OZK Arena. The Arkansas Choral Directors Association will host choir concerts in Hall A beginning at noon.

The Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association and the Arkansas Choral Directors Association work together to host the conference each year. The conference includes clinics led by renowned musicians and teachers from across the country.

All students have already auditioned in all regions and states.

Last year, the conference had to be held online due to pandemic security measures. Reynolds said scholarships are sometimes tied to audition placements. This is one of the reasons the conference was held virtually last year – so students don’t miss out on these opportunities. Regional auditions and all-state auditions were held virtually this year.

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