Dupree, Wegener invited to play with National Honor Band

Junior will head to Colorado in June


Polly Dierkens

Cody Dupree and Caitlin Wegner playing at the homecoming pep rally.

Two Rockets have been invited to participate in the National Honor Band in Englewood, Colorado, from June 27-June 30: Junior Cody Dupree and senior Caitlin Wegner as his alternate. 

The National Honor Band is organized by the American School of Band Directors Association (ASBDA) and includes the top high school students from around the country. 

It is “an organized union that takes people they recognize as musically gifted students and gives them the opportunity to express their musical ability,” Dupree said.

The goal of this foundation is to “promote, enhance and present quality school programs through leadership and fellowship of exemplary band directors,” according to the National Honor Band’s Web site. 

This year’s band will be directed by Dr. Rebecca Phillips, who is the professor of music and director at Colorado State University.

Dupree described the audition process as “simple.” Directors who are members of the ASBDA can nominate students to audition for the honor band. Students prepare the required piece and a few scales. Recorded auditions are sent to a selection committee. Dupree and Wegner both auditioned on their primary instrument which is flute.

Band director Brett Dawson presents junior Cody Dupree and senior Cailtin Wegener to the Streetsboro Board of Education.

“The committee is highly selective and chooses the musicians with the highest quality of playing,” said Streetsboro first-year band director Brett Dawson. 

Dawson directs both the fifth grade and the high school bands. He also helps Allison Logan direct the middle school classes.

Dawson said he cannot take the credit for Dupree and Wegener’s success because this is only his first year. “I saw the potential and pushed them along in the process,” Dawson said. “I’m really proud of the two of them and it’s a really great opportunity.”

During the summer honor band event, students will spend three days working with Phillips on music and will have some fun activities during their breaks. They will visit Meow Wolf’s convergence center in Denver. The convergence center is a museum with “immersive psychedelic, mind bending art” according to Meow Wolf’s site. It is an immersive experience into the science fiction world where the artwork is not like anything else. 

Both Dupree and Wegener have been in band since fifth grade. They are both a part of the Kent Youth Winds, which is similar to the national honor band but prepares throughout the year for three concerts. Former Streetsboro band director, Sarah Kois, introduced this opportunity and is also one of the instructors.