OSWEGO, NY – On February 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson-Faust Theatre, The OHS bands are proud to present the Festival of Winds Concert.
Our Festival of Winds Concert is an annual event that brings our students in contact with the finest conductors, composers and educators from across the nation.
The festival dates back to the early 1980s and has brought such musical giants as Pulitzer Prize winning composer Karel Husa, Francis McBeth, Jared Spears, and Timothy Mahr; conductors Dr. Russell Mickelson (SUNY Fredonia/Ohio State University), Eugene Migliaro Corporon (University of North Texas), Rodney Winther (Ithaca College/Cincinnati Conservatory), James Croft (Florida State), James Keene (University of Illinois) and Larry Harper (Carroll College).
Students rehearse with the guest artists during the regular school day on Friday.
In addition, they come in for an extra rehearsal on Saturday morning.
It is a very busy weekend of music.
The OHS Band Parents’ Association in conjunction with the Oswego City School District provides a great deal of the funding for our guest conductors each year.
We are very thankful for their continuous efforts on behalf of ALL the students in the OHS bands, Jazz Bands, Winter Guards AND Marching Buccaneers.
This year, we are fortunate enough to bring in Justin J. Mertz.
Mertz is the assistant director of bands and director of the Syracuse University Marching Band at the Syracuse University Setnor School of Music.
He is the assistant conductor of the Wind Ensemble and conductor of the Concert and Symphony bands.
A native of Massapequa, NY, he has held teaching positions in the Alief Independent School District in Houston, Texas, and the Westmoreland Central School District in Westmoreland, New York.
At Westmoreland Middle School, he was named Faculty Member of the Year in 2004.
The Pride of Westmoreland Marching Band finished near the top of its class under his direction.
Additionally, he writes competitive marching drill for high school bands in the Northeast and has been a guest conductor and clinician throughout New York State, including the Greater Utica Honors Youth Wind Ensemble, Greater Syracuse Honors Youth Wind Ensembles, Oxford Summer Band Camp, and NYSSMA Area all-state festivals.
He holds two degrees from Syracuse University.