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James D. Ployhar Honor Band Festival

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The Ployhar Honor Band Festival was begun in 2003 to honor the distinguished VCSU alumnus, James D. Ployhar. After graduating with a music education degree from VCSU, Ployhar received his Masters degree from the University of Northern Colorado. He went on to a prolific and successful career as a conductor, composer, and arranger. His name appears on over 800 music publications. He authored two revered band courses, and received the National Band Association's Citation of Excellence and membership into the American Bandmasters Association. In 2006, Ployhar became the first alumnus to be inducted into the VCSU Music Hall of Fame. Mr. Ployhar passed away in 2007, and the annual Ployhar Festival serves to highlight his life and distinguished career.

2016 Festival Information

High School band and choir students from North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and South Dakota audition for acceptance into the annual Honor Band.

Interested students may send in recorded auditions in CD or MP3 format. Email submissions are encouraged. Please direct any questions about the festival to Dr. Nick Meyers at nicholaus.meyers@vcsu.edu or 701-845-7374.

Live auditions for the 2016 Ployhar Honor Festival will be conducted during September 2016 at a limited number of sites. If you are interested in having your students audition live at your school, please contact Dr. Meyers.

Please encourage all of your students to audition for this unique opportunity.

Scholarships available for all instruments

High School seniors attending the Ployhar Honor Festival may choose to audition for music scholarships to attend Valley City State University. Renewable scholarships are available for music majors, and service awards are available for minors who play select instruments. Click here for more scholarship audition requirements and information. Any further questions may be directed to Dr. Meyers.

Dr. Nicholaus Meyers, Conductor

Nick Meyers, a native of Georgia, is currently Director of Bands/Percussion and Assistant Professor of Music at Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota. At Valley City State University he directs the concert and athletic bands, teaches percussion, composition, and theory. He is also the drumline arranger for the Northeastern State University “River Hawk” drumline in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, drumline instructor at Jamestown High School in Jamestown, North Dakota, faculty member at IMC (International Music Camp) and a member of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Opera and is the director of the NDSU Governors School Honor band each summer. Before coming to North Dakota, Dr. Meyers taught at Augusta State University, Troy University, and Augusta Technical College and was the assistant band director at Lakeside High School in Evans, Georgia. Other ensembles he has performed with are: Augusta Symphony, Augusta Opera, Augusta Players, Augusta Chorale Society, Oak Ridge Symphony, Fort Gordon Dinner Theater, and also performs throughout the year on recitals, masterclasses and adjudicates throughout the state of North Dakota. He is also a commissioned composer whose works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe.

He is the incoming Chair for the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Composition Committee, Vice President of the PAS North Dakota Chapter, is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and Percussive Arts Society (PAS). Dr. Meyers is also a Black Swamp Percussion, Vater Sticks and Mallets, Sabian Cymbals, Aquarian Drumheads, and Gon Bops Perucssion Artist. He earned the Doctoral of Musical Arts degree from North Dakota State University, Masters of Music from the University of Tennessee, and Bachelors of Music from Augusta State University.

Lodgings in Valley City

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A number of hotels and bed and breakfast establishments are available in and near Valley City. Here is a list of addresses for each. Following the list are directions for arriving at the VCSU campus from Interstate 94. These are all approximately the same distance from campus.

1. AmericInn Lodge and Suites (has a nice swimming pool). 280 Winter Show Dr. SE, Valley City. 701-845-5551.

2. Super 8 Motel. 8th Ave. SW and I94, Valley City. 701-845-1140.

3. Wagon Wheel Inn. 455 Winter Show Road, Valley City. (Has a swimming pool) 701-845-5333


To the VCSU campus:
1. Valley City has three exits off I94 so regardless of what direction you come from, take the middle exit.
2. At the end of the ramp, turn down-hill, north, on 8th Ave.
3. Proceed north on 8th Ave. about 500 meters. To the corner of Viking Drive and 8th Ave. At that point the Athletic "Bubble" should be on the left. Turn right onto Viking Drive.
4. Proceed three blocks, over the bridge and onto campus.
5. Continue until the Memorial Student Union is on the left. Turn left at the corner just past the Student Union. Foss Music Hall is located directly at the end of the block, on College St. SW.
6. Park anywhere on any street, or turn in either parking lot east or west of Foss.