2020 District I Honor Band Information

The 2020 Alabama Bandmasters Association District I Honor Band will take place on February 14-15, 2020 at Grissom High School. Auditions for this event will take place at the District I All-State Auditions on January 24-25 at Sparkman High School.

High School Clinician – Dr. Peter Boonshaft

Dr. Peter Boonshaft

Called one of the most exciting and exhilarating voices in music education today, Peter Loel Boonshaft has been invited to speak and conduct in every state in the nation and around the world. Honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education,” Dr. Boonshaft is Director of Education for Jupiter Band Instruments, and his weekly “Boonshaft’s Blog’? for music educators continues to inspire teachers everywhere. He has received official proclamations from the Governors of five states and a Certificate of Appreciation from former President Ronald Reagan, as well as performing for former President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, and for Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He has been awarded membership in Pi Kappa Lambda and Alpha Chi, as well as twice receiving the University of Hartford Regent’s Award and that University’s Outstanding Music Educator Award. His honors also include being selected three times as a National Endowment for the Arts “Artist in Residence,’? three times awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society, receiving the Al G. Wright Award from the Women Band Directors International, and being selected for the Center for Scholarly Research and Academic Excellence at Hofstra University. 

He holds Bachelor of Music (Summa Cum Laude), Master of Music Education in Conducting, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Dr. Boonshaft was also awarded a Connecticut General Fellowship for study at the Kodály Musical Training Institute, from which he holds a Certificate. He is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Boonshaft was on the faculty of Moravian College and the University of Hartford. He was Founder and Music Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Honors Concert Band and the Connecticut Valley Youth Wind Ensemble. In addition, he held the post of Music Director and Conductor of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony of Boston.

Dr. Boonshaft is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise, as well as his first book for teachers of other disciplines, Teaching with Passion, Purpose and Promise. He is also co-author of Alfred Music Publishing’s new beginning method book series, Sound Innovations for Band and Sound Innovations for Strings, as well as Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Young Concert Band, Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Intermediate Concert Band, and Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Advanced Concert Band. In addition, he is the author of Vaclav Nelhybel: His Life and Works, the only authorized biography of the composer, a contributing author of The Music Director’s Cookbook: Creative Recipes for a Successful Program, and author of articles for Instrumentalist Magazine, the National Band Association Journal, Teaching Music, and Band Director’s Guide. Extremely active as a guest conductor, clinician and speaker for conferences, festivals, concerts and workshops nationally and internationally, he has guest conducted the NAfME (The National Association for Music Education) National High School Honors Band, NAfME All-Eastern Band, NAfME All-Northwest Band, NAfME All-Eastern Directors Band, Goldman Memorial Band, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band, U.S. Marine Band New Orleans, Western International Band Clinic, Prague Castle Guard/Czech Police Symphonic Band, U.S. Department of Defense Dependents Schools: Europe Honors Music Fest Band, and the Association of Concert Bands National Conference Band.

Middle School Clinician – Jerell Horton

Jerell Horton

Jerell Horton has been the band director at Vestavia Hills since 2006. He is a graduate of Samford University. Prior to his appointment at Vestavia Hills High School, he served as assistant director at Pizitz Middle School and Vestavia Hills High School. While at Vestavia Hills, the bands have consistently earned superior rating at District and state concert band festivals as well as the ABDA festival, the Vestavia Hills Wind Ensemble performed at the 2011 Alabama Music Educators Conference, and the Music For All National Concert Band Festival in 2013. The Vestavia Hills High School Rebel Marching Band performed in the 2010 London New Year’s Day Parade in London, England. The band will be traveling to Dublin Ireland in March 2018 to perform in the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The National Band Association recently awarded the National Program of Excellence Southern Division Blue Ribbon Award to the Vestavia Hills High School band. Mr. Horton has served as an honor band clinician within the states of Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. He is also on staff for the Auburn Summer Marching and Leadership camp and volunteers his service to the Music For All Summer Symposium. Mr. Horton a National Board Certified teacher and was named to SBO magazine’s 2014 list of 50 Directors Who Make a Difference. Mr. Horton was honored to serve on 2017 Music for All Tournament of Roses teaching staff. He is married to Monica Horton (also an educator) and they have three children, daughter Madina Jaimes and sons Edward Israel and Chism.

Honor Band Schedule

Friday, February 14        

  • 5:30 PM – Seating of Bands
  • High School in the auditorium (Wire stands needed Saturday afternoon)
  • Middle School in the Band Room (Wire Stands needed)
  • 5:45 PM – 9:00 PM – Rehearsal

Saturday, February 15

  • 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM – High School Rehearsal
  • 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Middle School Rehearsal
  • Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:00 PM –  4:00 PM – Rehearsal (bands will swap rehearsal locations)
  • 4:00 PM –  7:00 PM – Dinner (on your own) and dress for concert
  • 6:30 PM  –  MS on stage/HS in designated area in audience
  • 7:00 PM     Concert – Middle School performs first, followed by High School. 


  • Attendance at all rehearsals is mandatory. Absence from a rehearsal could result in removal from the honor band.
  • Students should wear their school’s concert uniform for the Saturday evening performance.
  • Students should not have cell phones/digital devices out during rehearsals.
  • Concert is free! 
  • Pep Wear will sell Honor band shirts and plaques.
  • Recording available for purchase in the lobby. 
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