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DWU students chosen for two collegiate honor bands

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Mellissa Spitzer, Bryce Blank, Sam Weller and Rheanna Pheifer

Several Dakota Wesleyan University instrumentalists have been chosen for two collegiate honor bands.

Mellissa Spitzer, flute, senior, Mitchell; Bryce Blank, alto sax, junior, Rapid City; and Sam Weller, clarinet, freshman, Mitchell, were chosen for the College Band Directors National Association North Central Division Intercollegiate Band in Kalamazoo, Mich., in late February. This honor band consists of the top college musicians from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

All three students, as well as senior flautist Rheanna Pheifer, of Platte, were also chosen for the South Dakota Intercollegiate Band, which will be March 21-23. The free concert, which is also open to the public, will be at 11:20 a.m., Friday, March 23, at the Rushmore Civic Center, Rapid City.

“I am so proud of the musical accomplishments of these students and how well they represent DWU, at both a state and national level,” said Bethany Amundson, director of bands and instrumental studies at DWU.

At Dakota Wesleyan, many majors participate in the choral and instrumental programs.

Spitzer, a nursing major, has been playing flute since the sixth grade and is going on her fifth honor band selection.

“For last week (of CBDNA), it was a great experience being around great musicians in a larger band,” Spitzer said after Kalamazoo. “Everyone there had a passion for the music we were performing. A highlight of the trip was working with the guest conductor Dr. Jamie Nix and the passion he has for conducting. The best part was hearing what he said were (the same) words that our own conductor, Bethany Amundson, says to us frequently in lessons or in band.”