The Hodgson Wind Ensemble was selected to perform for the College Band Directors National Association 2017 national conference in Kansas City! The conference runs from March 15-18, with HWE performing today (watch them on at 4:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. CST). As they made their way to Missouri, the ensemble stopped in Kentucky for a special engagement. Teaching assistant/DMA conducting student Matthew Sadowski wrote about their time in Henderson, KY.

We departed with 50 students on Tuesday morning, March 14th, en route to Henderson, Kentucky. Seven hours later, upon our arrival, we were warmly welcomed by Adam Thomas, Director of Bands at Henderson County High School, and 120 of his students. For an hour, we shared our musical knowledge with them and found them to be eager learners.

HWE CBDNA collage 1

HWE CBDNA collage 2

After a tasty meal together, provided by their band booster organization, we watched the HCHS Concert & Symphonic Band, and the HCHS Wind Ensemble perform their pre-festival concert. Both bands performed very well, and we were impressed with the size and skill level of each ensemble. Mr. Thomas has assembled an excellent program, and it was evident in the sounds coming from the stage. Bravi tutti!

After their portion of the concert concluded, it was our turn to take the stage. We performed both pieces that were written for us to premiere at the CBDNA conference; Beacons by UGA Professor of Composition Peter van Zandt Lane, and Honeycomb by UGA DMA Candidate Cody Brookshire. They were a hit! The unique sounds in Beacons like scraped metals, strummed guitars and numerous glissandi were mesmerizing, and the students especially loved the integration of live music and cell phones in Honeycomb. Christian Lindberg’s tour de force Concerto for Winds and Percussion finished out the concert, and truly wowed the audience. We were overjoyed to receive two standing ovations!


For us, this was a great opportunity to perform together as an ensemble before we take the stage in Kansas City. Supportive audiences are invaluable while we put the finishing touches on our program. Mr. Thomas, his students, and the dozens of wonderful parent volunteers were fantastic hosts. After the concert, we headed to a nearby hotel for a few hours of sleep. Now, after some tasty BBQ for lunch, we are hours away from Kansas City and look forward to watching the University of Kansas perform tonight.

Be sure to tune in to our concert online! We play at 3:30 CST (that’s 4:30 Georgia time) and can be found at Go Dawgs!