The music department at North Platte Community College is now accepting registrations for a “Best of the West” high school music festival that will be held in January.

Schools within the college’s 18-county service area should receive formal invitations this week, NPCC spokeswoman Heather Johnson said. Homeschooled students are also encouraged to attend. They can contact Pam Koch, interim music instructor, for more information at (308) 535- 3755, or kochp@mpcc.edu.

The deadline to register is Nov. 30.

“That will give us time to choose music and send it to the students so they can practice on their own,” Koch said. “They will only spend one day at NPCC, the day of the festival, rehearsing and then performing that night.”

Participants will be selected by teacher recommendations. There’s no limit to how many can perform.

Students are needed for a band, chorus and orchestra. Those who can play more than one instrument will be placed wherever they are needed most.

“The purpose of this festival is to give students an opportunity to play or sing music they might not otherwise be able to in their high schools,” said Koch. “As far as our department can tell, this will be the only music festival of its kind in West Central Nebraska. We want to give kids out here the same opportunities that are available on the eastern end of the state.”

The cost to participate in the music festival is $10 per student.

The festival will begin at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 29 with registration in the McDonald-Belton building on the NPCC south campus. It will conclude with a concert at 6 p.m. in the McDonald-Belton theater.

The performance will be open to the public, Johnson said.