News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Tuba player selected to play Down Under

Sisters High School junior Jack Ogan has dedicated hours to his musical craft as a tuba player, resulting in many opportunities, including honor band selection. Recently his stock rose further when he was invited to travel to Australia in the summer of 2020 for the Pacific Honours Ensemble Program (PHEB).

Ogan, who has been involved in the Sisters School District music program since middle school, is the band president.

Ogan attended the Western International Band Clinic (WIBC), along with four other Sisters High School band students, November 22-25 in Seattle, where he got to work under world-class conductors and composers, including Robert W. Smith.

“I got to play a piece written by Robert W. Smith that he himself conducted,” said Ogan. “Dr. Suzanne Collins, the former conductor for the U.S. Air Force Band, which is incredibly prestigious, also worked with us.”

PHEB selects two musicians per instrument from among the WIBC attendees to be part of the summer program in Australia. Ogan is the principal tubist of the two selected.

To be considered for PHEB, Ogan had to submit recorded auditions a couple of months in advance of the WIBC and then was also judged during the clinic itself.

“I feel really lucky to be picked from among a load of really amazing tubists,” he said.

“It’s an amazing opportunity, not only to be recognized for the amount of work you have put into your instrument, but to then get to travel and meet all these other young musicians,” he said.

Sisters HS/MS Band Director Tyler Cranor said, “I just think it’s cool and amazing for Jack to be selected,” he said. “It’s a testament to his dedication for sure, and we want to support him in any way we can.”

PHEB is based in Brisbane, Australia, at Griffith University. The program is in its 14th year and will include nearly 300 young musicians in total among four ensembles.

As a sort of “exchange” program, Australian students come to the WIBC each year in Seattle as well, so Ogan has already gotten acquainted with some of the Aussie musicians.

As far as his travel itinerary is concerned, Ogan will depart from Portland on September 25, spend four days on an educational/sightseeing component in Sydney and Brisbane and conclude October 1-4 with the Ensemble program itself before returning home October 5.

The overall cost for Ogan to attend comes to around $4,000, so he has begun brainstorming fundraising ideas, including perhaps helping produce some sort of musical showcase that will help the entire band program as well as his own endeavors.

In the meantime, contributions can be made to the Sisters High School Band program and tagged for “Jack Ogan PHEB”.


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