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July 22, 2011

NELA Youth Concert Band brings together local youth musicians at ULM

When Tyler McGaugh and Gregory Holdiness started summer break after completing another year at Ouachita Parish High School, they knew they didn't want to spend their whole summer relaxing.

Instead of lounging by the pool or only working a summer job, the two students sought out the help of the University of Louisiana at Monroe music department to put together a community band.

NELA Youth Concert Band, as McGaugh and Holdiness call it, was an idea conceived near the end of the school year when the two decided to create a concert band and conduct it themselves.

McGaugh, who plays the French horn, is an incoming freshman at ULM planning to study instrumental music education.

He has been taking lessons from Dr. James Boldin, assistant professor of music, since a freshman in high school.

Through his connection to the ULM music department, McGaugh and Holdiness were able to secure the ULM band room to practice two days a week.

Prior to the end of the school year, McGaugh and Holidness created flyers and distributed them to all of the area high schools.

Zeagler's Music provided a generous sponsorship, and the aspiring conductors were given music folders and free advertising at the Monroe location to solicit more performers to join the band.

There are 21 people registered for the NELA Youth Concert Band, and they are still seeking new performers. Anyone from sixth grade to college who can play an instrument is welcome.

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