• Jan. 27, 2023

    Band director honored; Wind ensemble completes university tour

    Dr. John SeybertDr. John Seybert, Upper St. Clair High School band director, was recently honored with the Citation of Excellence Award from the National Band Association.

    According to the National Band Association’s website, the Citation of Excellence is awarded to outstanding concert band directors whose ensembles have a history of a distinguished level of accomplishment or to those individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of bands and band music.

    “This is a significant award for a high school band program,” Dr. Seybert said. “I am thankful to be recognized with the Upper St. Clair High School Wind Ensemble for excellence in musical performance and exceptional service to the profession.”

    An Upper St. Clair faculty member since December 2016, Dr. Seybert also serves as the district’s performing arts curriculum leader. He received the Citation of Excellence Award during the Marywood University Senior Wind Band Festival. It was one stop of the Upper St. Clair High School Wind Ensemble’s recent university tour.

    “This is the first time our Wind Ensemble has performed at multiple universities on tour,” Dr. Seybert said. 

    The USCHS Wind Ensemble performed at Messiah University with Dr. Jim Colonna, director of bands, on Friday, Jan. 20, and at the Marywood University Festival on Saturday, Jan. 21. The program included a performance of “From Gold,” which was written and guest conducted by Sam Hazo, a 1984 Upper St. Clair High School alumnus.

    “The USHCS Wind Ensemble received a standing ovation and outstanding reviews from high school and college band directors from all over the country,” Dr. Seybert said.

    Dr. Seybert stated that there are numerous musical and extra-musical benefits for the Wind Ensemble participating in a tour.

    “The students had the opportunity to enhance their preparation and level of performance of significant works in the band repertoire in diverse performance venues,” he said. “Our students learned from exceptional conductors/master teachers.”

    The university tour provided students with opportunities grow and improve as individual musicians and collectively as an ensemble.

    “The ensemble performed for university and high school directors and students from all over the country,” Dr. Seybert said. “In addition to lifelong memories of wonderful performances, these experiences provide extraordinary opportunities for our students and contribute to the continued advancement of our program.”

    Dr. Seybert praised the school community for its continued support of music education.

    “We are grateful to our school board, administration and families for their continued support of these learning and performance opportunities for our students,” Dr. Seybert said. “Creating meaningful experiences beyond the classroom will help to strengthen, elevate and grow our music programs.”

    Download the Marywood University Senior Wind Band Festival program