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GRCC Honor Band 2024

Second annual Grand Rapids Community College Honor Band festival

Join us for the Grand Rapids Community College Honor Band festival, Taking place Feb. 2-3, 2024.

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 by filling out the nomination registration form and paying the $25 registration fee.


High school band directors and private teachers may nominate students by filling out the nomination/registration form

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 $25. 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, February 3 at 7 p.m. 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 one complimentary ticket for a friend or family member to attend the concert. 
  • The fee will cover parking each day at GRCC.
  • The Honor Band will be conducted by Dr. Shannon Shaker, Director of Bands at Grand Rapids Community College


The Honor Band will be conducted by Dr. Shannon Shaker, Director of Bands at Grand Rapids Community College.

Kayla M. Cordell

Kayla M. Cordell

Kayla Cordell has been directing bands for eighteen years. Her recent ensembles include the Cornerstone University Symphonic Winds (2018-2023), and the East Grand Rapids High School Concert Band (2022-2023). During her time as an Assistant Professor at Cornerstone University, Kayla Cordell enjoyed teaching music education and conducting courses, giving clinics, and establishing the Cornerstone University Honor Band. Cordell also taught music theory and introduction to humanities as an adjunct music faculty member at Muskegon Community College. In 2020, Cordell became the first female guest conductor of the 62nd annual Tri-County High School Honor Band, and she presented at Michigan State University’s New Directions in Music Education Conference. In 2022, Cordell was on the collegiate panel for the Forum for Future Female Band Directors hosted at the University of Michigan. Kayla Cordell has always been passionate about secondary instrumental education and returned to full-time teaching at Wyoming Public Schools this past August. 

Cordell holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Cornerstone University, and a Master of Music degree in wind conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University. Early career accomplishments include the 2009 Newaygo County Outstanding High School Educator award and Outstanding Potential Award from the American School Band Directors Association. During her four years at White Cloud, she wrote grants amounting to over $30,000 to benefit the White Cloud Band Program. In 2010, Kayla Cordell became the director of bands at Sparta High School, MI, and her bands received Division I ratings at both District and State MSBOA festivals. Her bands have performed out of state, and as a former staff member for the Michigan Ambassadors of Music Program, her students have also performed throughout Europe.

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. Dr. Shaker is also the Artistic Director of the Grand Rapids Community Band, Beer City Winds. Shannon served as Director of Bands and Music Education at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland from 2018 - 2020.

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. 

Event information, Dates, Cost, Travel, Schedule and Concert Attire

Event information, Dates, Cost, Travel, Schedule and Concert Attire

Important dates

  • GRCC Honor Band will take place Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. 
  • The nomination/registration form must be completed by Jan. 19, 2024.
  • The registration fee must be paid by Jan. 26, 2024.
  • Audition Material will be sent to those who indicate a desire to hold a principal position or be assigned solos.
  • Audition materials will be due (via an unlisted YouTube link) Jan. 19, 2024.


  • $25 registration fee.
    • Includes snacks on Friday and Saturday, and pizza on Saturday
    • Includes parking in Ramp A
  • Bring your own lunch on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024
  • Each participant will receive one complimentary ticket for admission to the concert on Saturday, Feb. 3. 
  • 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, February 2

  • 3 p.m. - Registration in Albert P. Smith Music Center Lobby (142 Ransom Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Students can warm up in practice rooms and classrooms
  • 4 p.m. - Full band rehearsal in Recital Hall (rm. 200)
  • 6:30 p.m. - Break - snack provided
  • 9 p.m. - Rehearsal ends. Participants go home

Saturday, February 3

  • 9:30 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
  • 1:30 p.m. - Walk to Saint Cecilia's Music Center together
  • 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

Concert Attire

Students should wear the uniform or specified attire they wear for their high school band concerts. If the student does not have a high school uniform, please wear black long trousers or skirt with black dress shoes, and a black or white blouse or dress shirt with at least ¾ length sleeves.