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Thousands of middle and high school students will head to UW Oshkosh on April 30 for their opportunity to perform in a Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) State Music Festival, one of the largest student events of its kind in the nation.

More than 32,000 student musicians will take part in WSMA State Music Festivals held on 10 university campuses throughout the state. UW Oshkosh hosts the WSMA State Festival 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

“The WSMA State Music Festival is an enriching day for participating performers, their parents and area music teachers,” said Kenneth Liske, UW Oshkosh festival manager. “It is also an important way UW Oshkosh serves the schools and communities throughout our service region. More than one hundred University students, faculty, staff and friends of music education volunteer each year to help make the event possible.”

In order to participate in the WSMA State Music Festivals, students must first earn a “starred first” rating in Class A (the most difficult music) at a WSMA District Music Festival, hosted by schools for students in grades 6-12. Students can select from a variety of instrumental and vocal solo and ensemble categories for their performances. Over 225 district festivals were held in Wisconsin during the past six months, involving more participants than any other student activity in the state.

WSMA Executive Director Mike George explains, “The level of dedication and achievement in music continues to grow among Wisconsin students. The WSMA State Music Festival is among the best opportunities for thousands of students to share their talents and learn in ways that will last a lifetime.”

Wisconsin universities hosting WSMA State Music Festivals April 30 include UW-Whitewater, UW-Platteville, UW-Milwaukee and UW Oshkosh. West De Pere High School is scheduled to host the WSMA State Music Jazz Festival on May 6. Festivals will be held May 7 at Cardinal-Stritch University, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Parkside and UW-Stevens Point.

Learn more about WSMA State Music Festivals and other programs by visiting www.wsmamusic.org. WSMA State Music Festival information will be posted as available. Schedules and results will be searchable by school, student and event number.

Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) is a service organization with more than 950 member public and private schools. Each year, more than 220,000 students take the initiative to become involved in WSMA activities, including District and State Music Festivals, State Honors Projects, State Marching Band Championships and Concert Festivals. WSMA, also owner and operator of the Wisconsin Center for Music Education, is governed by a board of directors made up of superintendents, principals and other officers from all over the state. WSMA believes music is a basic human need and that all children have the right to experience all that music offers them.

Coral Graszer and Kevin Thays, WSMA, submitted this announcement. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.

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