More than 350 elite musicians from East End middle schools will gather in East Hampton on Saturday for the annual Hampton Music Educators Association concerts.
The band and orchestra concert will be at 5:30 p.m. at East Hampton High School, with the chorus and world drumming concert at 7:30. Tickets are $10 for the general public, available at the door.
Students from the North Fork and as far west as Center Moriches rehearsed music on their own before attending long rehearsals as large groups. In the world drumming component, which is unique to the middle school festival and will be led by a nationally recognized conductor, some members of the Bridgehampton School’s Tewa Marimba ensemble are taking part. The school also lent instruments to the effort.
East Hampton has not hosted a Hampton Music Educators festival in many years. Troy Grindle, who oversees the district’s music programs, said the department is grateful to the administration, school board, and custodial staff for supporting the festival this year. Chris Mandato, the high school’s band teacher, said H.M.E.A. is an enriching experience.
“They perform music that’s really challenging but really exciting, and they get inspired by a new conductor,” said Mr. Mandato, the group’s president. “These are some of the best conductors on Long Island and the surrounding areas.” The students are “inspired by their peers from other districts who are equally amazing, and they build friendships.”
The high school’s version of the festival will take place the first weekend of February at Eastport-South Manor, for which more details will be forthcoming.