About Fall Festival

October 12, 2019
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH

Our Fall Orchestra Festival is held annually at UNH in Durham. This festival is open to any student in grades 9-12. Home-schooled students of the same age are also welcome to attend. Participation is open to any student who would like to attend, and is not limited to New Hampshire residents or the students of NHASTA members. During the festival day, about 100 high school string students participate in one of two orchestras, which are complemented by wind, brass and percussion players from the UNH Symphony. 

This year’s festival will feature Ben Greene as conductor of the Chamber Orchestra, and Dr. David Upham as conductor of the Festival Orchestra.

Benjamin Greene

Benjamin Greene has been Music Director/Conductor of the Lakes Region Symphony since 1999. Under Ben's leadership, there has been a renewed enthusiasm for the LRSO in the Lakes Region and this is evident in the increased audience size and the overall size of the orchestra. Ben has brought exciting programming and soloists to the orchestra and with the addition of the Annual Holiday Pops Concert, Youth Concerto Competition and Youth Concert has transformed the group into exhilarating community orchestra.

Ben was the Performing Arts Coordinator for the Concord School District from 1999-2009. In 2009, Ben was named Assistant Principal at Concord High School and continues in that role. Before becoming Performing Arts Coordinator Ben worked as the district teacher of strings for the Concord School District and conducted both the Middle School and High School Orchestra. In 2009 Ben retired after 20 years as the Conductor of the New Hampshire Youth Symphony. In addition to conducting the Lakes Region Symphony Ben also conducts the Concord Community Chorus in its annual performance of Messiah each December and is music director at Wesley Methodist Church in Concord.

Ben has taught at Keene State College, St. Paul’s School, Concord Community Music School and the Manchester Community Music School. Ben has conducted Honors Orchestras in R. I, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. Ben is also active as a performer as he has performed with the Granite State Symphony, Lakes Region Symphony, Great Waters Music Festival and was Principal Double Bass and Assistant Conductor of the NH Philharmonic until 1999. In addition, he works as a freelance musician in the New England region with various jazz groups orchestra. Ben has begun studying classical guitar this year and is looking forward to performing in the future.

In 1997 Ben was named NH String Teacher of the Year and in 2002 was named New Hampshire Music Teacher of the Year. He is past president of both the NH String Teachers Association and NH Music Educators Association.

David Upham

Dr. Upham’s work also focuses on orchestral music education at all levels, preparing students for careers as public-school orchestra directors and teaching graduate conducting. In 2013, he founded the UNH Youth Symphony Orchestra program, which provides local school children with opportunities to study and perform string instruments while also providing UNH music education students with practical teaching experience. Dr. Upham appears frequently as an educator and clinician at festivals across the country, including the Summer Youth Music School at UNH. His background as a music educator also includes a tenure with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras and a successful ten-year career as a public-school music educator.

Dr. Upham received a B.A. in music from Luther College, an M.M. in conducting from the University of Northern Colorado, and a D.M.A. in conducting from the University of Washington.


Registration is now open for the 2019 Fall Orchestra Festival!

Students are placed via their teacher’s recommendation. Either a private instructor or school orchestra director can recommend students. 


Students and Parents: If you would like to learn more about the Fall Orchestra Festival, please download and read the following document: Fall Festival_Student Family Info 2019

The following is the document that must be completed and turned in to your teacher. It contains both the Student Registration Form and a required Emergency/Medical Release Form. Fall Festival_Student Registration and Emergency Form 2019

A Festival Registration fee of $25 is required. Please refer to you teacher’s instructions regarding payment of this fee.

PLEASE NOTE: Student participation in the festival is exclusively through teacher recommendation. Direct student applications will not be accepted.


To learn how to register your students for the festival, please download and read the following document: Fall Festival_Teacher Info and Checklist 2019

If you have questions after reading the Teacher Information and Checklist, please contact the festival organizer: David.Upham@unh.edu 

Briefly, the recommendation process includes the following steps:

1) Identify students you’d like to recommend, and distribute copies of the Student and Family Information letter found here: Fall Festival_Student Family Info 2019

2) Gather the following, required forms from students: Fall Festival_Student Registration and Emergency Form 2019

3) Gather a $25 registration fee from each student. Checks must be made payable to “NHASTA”. You may send individual student checks, or gather them into a single payment.

4) When you have all the student forms and payments, complete your recommendations online.

     - Recommending Teacher Survey (complete ONLY ONCE): https://goo.gl/forms/YhkP0cTan9ITAJ2H2 

     - Student Recommendation Form (repeat as needed): https://goo.gl/forms/e9WKb1fDgPRuFvPL2 

5) Send all registration forms and payment to the festival organizer.

Dr. David Upham

Music Department, PCAC

30 Academic Way

Durham, NH 03824

6) Once the orchestras are formed, you will receive an email notifying you of your students’ placement in either the Chamber or Festival Orchestra. Distribute the music and help them prepare!

CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: Chamber Orchestra members are typically older and more advanced students who play with a strong, resonant tone, solid intonation in multiple positions, and are capable of a variety of bow strokes including off-the-string bowings. In 2018, the Chamber Orchestra performed the original, authentic versions of the first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 25, Grieg’s “Heart’s Wounds”, and Bizet’s “Farandole”.

FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA: Festival Orchestra members are typically younger students who also play with strong tone quality, solid rhythmic skills, and have dependable intonation in first position. Some advanced passages of music (first violin parts, upper divisi parts) require additional positions, such as third positions for the violins. In 2018, the Festival Orchestra performed educational arrangements of Berlioz’s “March to the Scaffold”, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, and Saint-Saens’ “Bacchanale”.

PLEASE NOTE: With rare exceptions, freshman students are placed in the Festival Orchestra.