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December, 20, 2023
02:30 PM - 03:30 PM




High School Concert Band


Conductor Thumb
Kevin Callihan

Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

The Youth Performing Arts School is one of five magnets associated with duPont Manual High School, and offers magnet programs in Band, Vocal Music, Orchestra, Guitar, Piano, Theater, Musical Theater, Dance, and Design and Production. Graduates are consistently accepted at the top colleges and universities in the nation. Located in the educational complex adjacent to the University of Louisville, YPAS is one of only two schools in Kentucky to provide high school students with majors in the performing arts. Founded in 1978, YPAS has received local, state, national, and international recognition in the arts. In addition, the Youth Performing Arts School has served as a model for similar schools throughout the nation. YPAS accepts students from all public and private middle and high schools in the county based upon a competitive audition process. With a current enrollment of 1,900 students, duPont Manual High School offers its students intensive study within their Youth Performing Arts School magnet, while also providing a nationally recognized rigorous academic curriculum. Supported by the Producers (Youth Performing Arts School Parent Organization), students are able to study with some of the finest musicians in the Louisville music community. The YPAS Band was founded by Robert Bischof (1978-1993). Following Mr. Bischof, the band program continued to grow under the tremendous leadership of Dennis Robinson (1993-2008), Curtis Essig (Director of Bands, 2008-2021/Associate Director of Bands 1993-2008), and Jason Gregory (Associate Director of Bands 2008-Present). Following Curtis Essig’s retirement in 2021, Dr. Kevin Callihan was appointed as the school’s fourth Director of Bands. The YPAS Instrumental Music Program includes the following course offerings for academic credit: Music Theory I, Advanced Placement Music Theory II, Applied Piano, Symphony Orchestra, Pit Orchestra, Intermediate Brass, Intermediate Woodwinds, Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Ensemble, and Chamber Ensemble. YPAS majors are enrolled in at least two periods of music each semester and may add more courses as their schedule allows. The Intermediate Brass and Woodwind classes are nonperforming skill-development classes in which all freshmen participate. Considered the key to the YPAS Band program, students spend their first-year learning to perform the full range of their instrument in all their major and three forms of their minor keys. In addition, students also learn the seven modes. They commit to memory approximately 200 rhythmic patterns at assigned metronomic markings and complete three to four method books. This material is supplemented by exposure to etude and solo repertoire, professional music journal articles, and recordings of live performances by professional artists. The goal of the class is to transform the students into distinguished sight-readers able to prepare grade five and grade six repertoire for performance in 12 to 14 rehearsals. The Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble perform six concerts a year concentrating on the study of grade five and grade six literature. A typical year at YPAS for a student enrolled in both Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble offers him/her the opportunity to perform around 36 band compositions. Under a four-year rotating curriculum, no music title is repeated during a student’s tenure at YPAS. Students are required to perform a solo convocation performance each semester and to submit polished etude performances every six weeks to build a repertoire list of 24 etudes and 8 solos in preparation for college auditions. Additional performance opportunities include the YPAS Full Orchestra, Pit Orchestra (musical, opera, ballets, etc...), Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Percussion Ensemble, duPont Manual Marching Band, duPont Manual Pep Band, all the standard chamber ensembles for woodwinds and brass, and honors groups at the district, state, and national level. This past year, the YPAS Band program placed 55 students in all All-State Ensembles (5 Jazz, 6 Percussion Ensemble, 12 Orchestra, 32 Bands) and 105 in All-County Ensembles (50 in Wind Ensemble, 42 in Symphonic Band, 13 in Jazz Ensemble). In addition, two students were selected for the National Youth Orchestra, three students were selected for the National Honor Band of America, one student was selected for the NAfME All-National Concert Band, and one student received the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship and performed on the nationally syndicated NPR radio show From The Top. The YPAS band program promotes the creation of new repertoire for the wind band. The program is currently leading a commission consortium for a new grade six multi-movement work from Dr. Erich Stem. In the past year, the YPAS band program has joined two commission consortiums (Dr. Matthew Herman’s “Deliver us from Evil” and Barry Milner’s two-movement work inspired by Horatio Spafford’s “It Is Well with My Soul”). In 2022, the school commissioned Dr. Tyler Taylor (YPAS alum) to write “Memento No. 2”, a work dedicated to Curtis Essig’s tenure at the Youth Performing Arts School. The YPAS band program performs in adjudicated national festivals annually, and their recent trips have taken them to some of the finest performances venues in the country including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Orchestra Hall in Chicago, IL, the Tobin Performing Arts Center in San Antonio. Conference/clinic performances include the Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference (1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2016, & 2023), the Midwest Clinic (Symphony Orchestra 2015, Percussion Ensemble 2016, & Wind Ensemble in December 2023), and the Music for All National Concert Band Festival (2008, 2011, 2016, & 2023).

Youth Performing Arts School Wind Ensemble

Conductor's Bio

Dr. Kevin Callihan is currently the Director of Bands at the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, Kentucky. He has previously held Director of Bands positions at Longwood University (VA), Kentucky Wesleyan College, and Apollo High School (KY). Callihan holds degrees from Morehead State University, Northwestern University, and the University of Kentucky. Ensembles under Dr. Callihan's direction have been selected to perform at the Midwest Clinic, the Music for All National Concert Band Festival, and the Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference. In addition, Dr. Callihan has presented and/or performed at the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference, the Virginia Band & Orchestra Directors Association Clinic, the Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference, the International Tuba & Euphonium Conference, the International Trombone Festival, the College Band Directors National Association Conference, and the International Society for Research and Promotion of Wind Music International Conference. He is an active performer, clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator both regionally and nationally. Dr. Callihan is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Kentucky Music Educators Association, the American School Band Directors Association, the National Band Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Honorary Music Fraternity, and Who's Who in America. He resides in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Kaitlin and their daughter Katherine.

Additional Directors

Additional Conductor Image

Jason Gregory