All-Colorado Honor Band

The All-Colorado Honor Band is held on the campus of Western State Colorado University each Spring, usually around the end of February. This year marks the 64th meeting of this ensemble. Auditions for the All-Colorado Honor Bands are held in the Fall. Specific information about the honor band including audition requirements will be mailed to individual high schools in September.  The next festival February 22 - February 24, 2018. Audition recordings should be received by November 19, 2017.

Guest Conductor - Jonathan Sweet​

Jonathan Sweet joined the Purdue Bands & Orchestras faculty as Assistant Professor of Bands in the fall of 2017, after finishing coursework towards a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Kentucky. Sweet received his Bachelor of Music Education from Abilene Christian University in 2004, and earned a Masters of Music degree in Wind Band Conducting from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2013. Prior to his appointment to Purdue’s faculty, Sweet served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Kentucky where he taught undergraduate conducting students, marching band techniques, and private lessons in the Euphonium studio. He also conducted the Concert Band, guest conducted the Wind Symphony and Symphony Bands, assisted with the Wildcat Marching Band, and directed the Wildcat Pep Band for Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Gymnastics, and Men’s Basketball. Prior to arriving at the University of Kentucky, Sweet spent 11 years as a public school band director in Texas, where his groups frequently achieved superior ratings, best in class awards, and best in festival awards. In demand as both a marching and concert band clinician, Jon has worked with many fine groups and incorporates his love of energetic performances and positive experiences in the education of students and leaders.

Conductor - Dr. Steven Siegel

Steven Siegel holds the position Lecturer of Music at Western State Colorado University (Western), where he teaches applied lessons, directs bands, and serves as coordinator of the brass area. Prior to his appointment at Western, he was a trumpet teaching assistant at the University of Kentucky, where he completed a DMA in performance in May 2017 as a student of Jason Dovel. During his time at UK, he concurrently served as Instructor of Trumpet at Centre College in Danville, KY, and Interim Instructor of Trumpet at Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, KY. 

Dr. Siegel enjoys a busy performing schedule in both classical and commercial settings. As an orchestral player, he has performed with the Lexington Chamber Orchestra and Amarillo Symphony Orchestra. He has recently held positions including solo cornet with the award-winning Lexington Brass Band, 2nd trumpet in the UK Faculty Brass Quintet, and was a member of the UK Baroque Trumpet Ensemble. As a jazz player, he has performed with the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra, the Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors, and M-City Jazz. In addition, he has performed in numerous pit orchestras for professional and community groups including, Heritage Theatre Festival, the Alliance Theatre, and Theatre Works Community Players. 

Prior to teaching at the university level, Dr. Siegel was a high school band director for three years in Henry County, VA. During this time, he taught marching band, jazz band, concert band, music theory, and percussion ensemble. Under his direction, his concert and marching ensembles won first prize awards at numerous competitions. 

An active member of ITG, he recently performed two pieces in the New Works Recital at the 2017 ITG Conference in Hershey, PA. He also serves ITG as Conference Reporter, Sheet Music Reviewer, and Recordings Reviewer. 

His primary trumpet teachers include Dave Detwiler, Jim Kluesner, Bill Takacs, and Jason Dovel. Secondary teachers include Vince DiMartino, Rex Richardson, and Chris Magee. Siegel holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in performance from the University of Kentucky, Master of Music in performance from West Texas A&M University, and a Bachelor of Music in music education from James Madison University.

Honor band French horns

How it all Started

In 1953 a committee of the Gunnison Volunteer Firemen approached the President of Western State Colorado University to suggest sponsoring two evenings of band music by the Western State Colorado University Band and its newly organized Honor Band for Colorado high school students.  The proceeds from these concerts would be used to replace clothing and other personal equipment damaged in protecting the lives and property of Gunnison town and college residents.  The plan was promptly approved.  In 1990 the Western Slope Choral Festival concert was included as a benefit concert for the Gunnison Volunteer Fire Department.

In the fifty-five years since its inception the concerts have featured many of the nation’s most illustrious musicians, including the late Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the famous “Boston Pops” orchestra.  Fiedler, who was a famous fire engine buff, inaugurated the tradition of closing the concert with Goldman’s Third Alarm March, in which the band is augmented by a motley crew of firemen, performing on a clanging of bells and earsplitting sirens of the avocation.

Western State Colorado University is proud of the Gunnison Volunteer Fire Department and appreciative of its efficient and indispensable contribution to school and community.  These concerts are a token of that appreciation.

Firefighter of the Year Award

The Robert R. Williams (1927-1977) Memorial Award was established by the Gunnison Volunteer Fire Department in 1982 as a result of a fund created by the family of Chief Williams (1963-1969) in 1978.

The intent of the award is to give recognition annually to an exceptional firefighter for outstanding service to the community.