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UND to host hundreds of high school students, present public concerts during annual music festival

Students from throughout the region are expected to participate in master classes and other activities during the 37th Annual UND Honor Band, Choir and Strings Festival

UND Honor Band, Choir & Strings Festival, 2018.jpg
High school music students from throughout the region assemble on stage at the Chester Fritz Auditorium to perform the grand finale concert performance during the 2018 Honor Band, Choir and Strings Festival, hosted by the UND music department.
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GRAND FORKS — The UND music department will host more than 325 high school students and present two public concerts during its 37th Annual Honor Band, Choir and Strings Festival on Friday-Sunday, Jan. 21-23. Last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic.

The students attending this event are from communities throughout North Dakota and Minnesota. They were selected from among 750 students who auditioned in the fall, according to James Popejoy, director of bands and professor of music at UND.

While on campus, the students will participate in rehearsals and master classes, as well as present a concert, Popejoy said.

As part of the festival, two concerts will be presented in the Chester Fritz Auditorium. The first, titled the Showcase Concert, is set for 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21. The concert, which is free, will feature the music department’s ensembles, including the Concert Choir, Varsity Bards Men’s Choir and Enoxa Chamber Choir, directed by Dean Jilek; the Allegro Women’s Choir and Vivo Chamber Choir, conducted by Melanie Popejoy; the Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Alejandro Drago; and the Wind Ensemble, conducted by James Popejoy. The concert will also feature selected chamber ensembles, including the Flute Quartet; Saxophone Quartet, and the Red River Trio.

Before the concert, the One O’clock Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Robert Brooks, and the Steel Pan Band, directed by Brian Pfeifer, will perform in the lobby at 3:35 p.m.


On Sunday, Jan. 23, the UND Honor Band, Women’s Honor Choir, Mixed Honor Choir, and Honor Strings Ensemble will present a concert at 1:30 p.m. The ensembles are conducted by UND music professors Simona Barbu, Dean Jilek, Melanie Popejoy and James Popejoy.

Tickets for this event are: $7 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens, and $14 for a family of two adults and two children.

For more information, contact Popejoy at or call the UND music department at 701-777-2644.

Related Topics: CONCERTS
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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