James D. Ployhar Honor Band

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The Ployhar Honor Band 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 serves to highlight his life and distinguished career.

2019 Festival Information

High School band and choir students grades 8-12 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 Mr. Jerrold Heide at jerrold.heide@vcsu.edu or 701-845-7375.

Live auditions for the 2019 Ployhar Honor Festival will be conducted during August and September 2019 at a limited number of sites. If you are interested in having your students audition live at your school, please contact Mr. Heide.

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 Mr. Heide.

Mr. Jerrold Heide, Conductor

Jerrold Heide is the Director of Concert/Athletic Bands at Valley City State University, where he also teaches low brass studio, percussion studio, and instrumental music methods. Prior to this appointment, he served four years as Director of Instrumental Music at Alliance High School in Alliance, NE. Additional teaching service includes instrumental and vocal music in Osmond, NE and Buffalo, SD at the K-12 level. His marching bands have performed recently in Chicago, IL and Washington D.C., and his instrumental ensembles have consistently received superior ratings at District Music Contest and regional marching competitions. Jerrold holds a Master of Music in Education degree from the University of South Dakota and a Bachelor of Science in K-12 Instrumental Music Education from Dickinson State University (ND). Jerrold is active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the Northern Plains region and has given master classes in brass performance in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association, North Dakota Music Educators' Association, College Band Directors National Association, International Tuba-Euphonium Association, and the National Association for Music Education. Personal interests include motorcycles/cars, hunting, and spending time at the family ranch in Eastern Montana. He currently resides in Valley City, ND with his wife Erin and two daughters, Della and Claire.

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.

Office Information

Department Chair
Christopher Redfearn, D.A., Associate Professor
Email: christopher.redfearn@vcsu.edu
Phone: 1.800.532.8641, Press 1 then enter Ext. 37377

Administrative Assistant:
Paula Larson
Email: paula.larson@vcsu.edu
Phone: 1.800.532.8641, Press 1 then enter Ext. 37272
Mailing Address:
Department of Music
101 College Street SW
Valley City, ND 58072