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1st annual Grand Rapids Community College Honor Band festival

Join us for the 1st annual Grand Rapids Community College Honor Band festival, taking place January 27th & 28th.

We hope to have many Michigan high school students attend and spend the weekend making music with us! This event is open to all high school students (grades 9-12) in Michigan who play a wind or percussion instrument.


Auditions will only be required of students who wish to sit as a principal player in their section, or be assigned solos in music. If you would like to hold one of these positions, please indicate it on the nomination/registration form, and audition material and instructions will be emailed to you before the holiday break. 


Student musicians and parent/guardians can self-register and paying the $20 registration fee.


High school band directors and private teachers may nominate students. 

Nominate student

Highlights of the event

  • All activities will take place at the Albert P. Smith Music Center on GRCC’s campus (142 Ransom Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503) and Saint Cecelia’s Music Center (24 Ransom Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503)

  • All honor band participants will work with the GRCC music faculty, along with members of the GRCC Wind Ensemble and Campus Band. 

  • Honor Band participants will hear performances from current GRCC music students during the event. 

  • The cost to participate in the event is $20. This fee can be paid by credit card. A link to provide payment will be sent to those who complete the registration/nomination form. 

  • The concert for the event will be held on Saturday, January 28th at 7:00 pm in Royce Auditorium at Saint Cecelia’s Music Center. 

  • Tickets to the concert will be $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and military personnel. Student admission is free with a valid student ID. Tickets can be purchased in advance, or at the door. 

  • Each participant will receive 1 complimentary ticket for a friend or family member to attend the concert. 


The Honor Band will be conducted by two clinicians:

  • Dr. Shannon Shaker, Director of Bands at Grand Rapids Community College

  • Dr. Frederick M. Brown Jr., Director of Bands at Lyon College

Shannon Shaker

Sharon Shaker

Shannon Shaker holds the position of Assistant Professor, Director of Bands at Grand Rapids Community College. She leads the Wind Ensemble, Campus Band, and Jazz Ensemble. Dr. Shaker also teaches applied clarinet, along with other music classes in the department.  Shannon served as Director of Bands and Music Education at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland from 2018 - 2020. During her time at Frostburg State University, Shannon led the Wind Ensemble, Marching Bobcats, oversaw the music education curriculum, supervised student teachers, and taught music education and general education courses. 

Shannon holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from Arizona State University where she was a conducting student of Gary W. Hill, and served as a teaching assistant in the wind band program.

Dr. Shaker is from Pinconning, Michigan, and earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Michigan University in 2009. After earning her teaching certificate, Shannon taught for Eagle County Schools in Edwards, Colorado, where she taught music to students of all ages. During her tenure there, she taught elementary music, high school band, music technology, drumline, and guitar classes, while running First Notes, an El Sistema based youth orchestra. Shannon returned to Michigan and taught elementary music and band for Ypsilanti Community Schools in Ypsilanti, MI before pursuing graduate studies. She then earned her Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from Central Michigan University, where she studied with John E. Williamson, and was a teaching assistant for the wind band program. 

Shannon  is active in the professional music community. She is a member of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), College Music Society, National Association for Music Education, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), and Women Band Director International (WBDI), where she has served as scholarship chair since 2019. Shannon is an active guest conductor, clinician, and presenter. 

Dr. Fredrick Marcell Brown, Jr.

 Dr. Fredrick Marcell Brown, Jr.

Arkansas native, Dr. Fredrick Marcell Brown, Jr. is director of bands at the Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. Dr. Brown conducts the marching band, basketball band, symphonic winds, chamber ensembles, and jazz band.

In addition to his conducting responsibilities, he actively engages secondary school band programs throughout the state and region with on campus programs and guest clinics. Fredrick is interested in music beyond the traditional wind ensemble and engages with the active promotion and performance of chamber music. His research also involves theories of value and philosophies of experience to engage with the understanding of music and culture.

Dr. Brown earned his Doctor of Music Arts in Wind Conducting from Arizona State University under Gary W. Hill. Fredrick completed his Masters’ of Music in Wind Conducting with Dr. Albert T. Nguyen and served Interim Director of Athletic Bands at The University of Memphis. He was conductor of “The Mighty Sound of the South” Marching Band, the nationally ranked “Mighty Sound” Pep Band, and the concert band. Before his time at Memphis, Fredrick received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Henderson State University, taught Jr. high band at Stuttgart Public Schools in Arkansas.

Event information

Dates, cost, travel and schedule.

Important dates

  • GRCC Honor Band will take place Friday, January 27th and Saturday, January 28, 2023. 

  • The nomination/registration form must be completed by January 17, 2023.

  • The registration fee must be paid by January 23, 2023. 

  • Audition Material will be sent to those who indicate a desire to hold a principal position or be assigned solos by December 18th, 2022. 

  • Audition materials will be due (via an unlisted youtube link) January 20, 2023. 


  • $20 registration fee.

    • Includes snack on Friday, and pizza on Saturday

    • Includes parking in Ramp A

  • Bring your own lunch on Saturday, January 28, 2023.

  • Each participant will receive 1 complimentary ticket for admission to the concert on Saturday, January 28, 2023. 

  • Concert admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors/military, and free for students with a school ID. 


  • Participants can park in Parking Ramp A. The entrance is on Ransom Ave. Just south of Lyon St, across the road from the Music Center. Take a ticket when you enter the ramp, and you will be provided with validation at registration. 

  • There is a Silver Line bus stop near the entrance of the Albert P. Smith Music Center. For more information about bus travel, please visit The Rapid System Map and The Rapid Schedule

  • There is limited parking at Saint Cecelia’s Music center for attendees of the concert. If the lot is full, you can park at any metered or lot parking in the area. 


Friday, January 27, 2023

  • 4 p.m. - Registration in Albert P. Smith Music Center Lobby (142 Ransom Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • 5 p.m. - Full band rehearsal in Recital Hall (rm. 200)

  • 7 p.m. - Break - snack provided

  • 7:20 p.m. - Full band rehearsal in rm. 200

  • 9 p.m. - Rehearsal ends. Participants go home

Saturday, January 28, 2023

  • 9 a.m. - Percussion Sectional in Recital Hall

  • 10 a.m. - Full band rehearsal in Recital Hall (rm. 200)

  • 11 a.m. - Sectionals in Albert P. Smith Music Center

  • 12:30 p.m. - Lunch - bring your own sack lunch

  • 2 p.m. - Full Band Rehearsal in Royce Auditorium at Saint Cecelia’s Music Center (24 Ransom Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503)

  • 5 p.m. - Dinner - pizza provided. Change clothes into concert attire

  • 6:30 p.m. - Call time for the concert. Warm up and tune

  • 7 p.m. - Concert in Royce Auditorium at Saint Cecelia’s Music Center