Alex Bergman, a senior clarinet player at West Grand High School, has been accepted into the
Phoenix honor band at the Western International Band Clinic, which will be held in Seattle,
Washington November 19-22, 2021. Students from all over the United States and Australia
submit recorded auditions which are judged by music education specialists and ranked
according to precision, tone, and musicality. The competition for acceptance into the Western
International Band Clinic honor bands is extremely high, with thousands of applicants applying
for a few hundred positions. According to the WIBC leadership, there was an unusually large
number of student musicians auditioning this for this year’s event in Seattle.
The Western International Band Clinic is an opportunity for music students and band directors to
learn from the finest composers, conductors and musicians in the world.
At WIBC there will be 4 honor bands, each directed by several famous conductors who will
rehearse with them for 3 days to put on a concert of outstanding music, some of which will have
been written by the composers who these students will meet and work with while they are at
WIBC. This will help them to become better musicians and better understand the art of
musicianship. The students in the honor bands will also have special clinics with Dr. Tim
Lautzenheiser, the most renowned motivational speaker in the music field.
During WIBC, band directors have the opportunity to also learn from the same outstanding
composers, band directors, and musicians as the students in the honor bands. There are clinics
throughout the day while the students are rehearsing that focus on the challenges of teaching
music in the public schools and specific techniques for serving music students with love and
encouragement while improving musicianship and making their bands sound better. The
directors also participate in a “directors’ band” which reads through some of the best new music
available for bands, often directed by the composer. This exposure to other conductors and new
literature is valuable resource for all band directors.
Each night at the Western International Band Clinic, students will attend concerts by high school
and college bands that have auditioned and were selected to perform at this event. The
concerts that Alex and Mr. Bowerly will attend will be The General’s 7 Jazz Band from Camp
Murray, Washington; a Saxophone Ensemble from Cedar Park, Texas; the Bowie High School
Band from Austin, Texas; The Alabama Winds (from Tuscaloosa); and the “Project Trio”, led by
Greg Pattillo, who is famous for his beatboxing flute playing. Greg’s “Inspector Gadget”
flute/beatbox video currently has 31 million views.
West Grand is very proud of the accomplishments of Alex Bergman as a musician and as a
student leader at West Grand High School. He is active in school government, music, sports
and has been an actor in the high school plays.
If you would like to donate to help with the expenses of this trip to Seattle, please contact Band
Director Dan Bowerly or Taryn Edson at the West Grand High School office 970-724-3425.
Photo: Alex Bergman, clarinet. Senior at West Grand High School.