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Making the Band
A Look at the History and Future of the Modern Wind Ensemble

Monday May 19th, Music 223
Reception - 5:30 pm
Seminar - 6:00 pm

Most collegiate wind musicians have spent a large part of their careers playing in symphonic bands and wind ensembles. But how did the wind ensemble as we know it now come to be? Join us on Monday, May 19th as we invite three distinguished conductors to discuss the history and future of the wind band, focusing specifically on the origins of the lack of public recognition and acceptance of the wind ensemble, the rise of the modern wind ensemble and its impact on the nature of college band programs, and the unique characteristics of wind ensemble literature.

The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 pm (free food!), followed by three 30 minute presentations. We will conclude with a question and answer session with the speakers and other distinguished guests.

Bridging the Orchestral Divide
Scott Atchison

Though the wind ensemble is an American invention, it has not achieved anywhere near the same level of prestige and respect as has the symphony orchestra.The split between bands and orchestras can be traced back as far as the French Revolution. This talk focuses on the history of the wind band between that time and the age of J.P. Sousa, in particular the reasons for the current lack of public recognition and acceptance of the wind ensemble as an elite performing group.

Fall of the Giant (Ensemble)
Dr. J. Brad McDavid

With the introduction of the modern day wind ensemble in 1952 at the Eastman School of Music, Frederick Fennell set into motion the decline of the large symphonic band. With the best players now drawn to these new, smaller groups, the nature of wind bands across America began to change.
This talk focuses specifically on the impact of the wind ensemble on the structure of collegiate band programs, leading to the state of affairs with which we are so familiar today.

Composing with No Strings Attached
Eric Smedley

Aside from the obvious differences in instrumentation, the nature of wind ensemble repertoire is drastically different from that of the symphony orchestra, or even the traditional wind symphony. This talk delves into these differences, looking at their origins and their impact on the status of wind bands today. Along the same lines, we also consider the consequences of the unique way in which wind ensembles have sought out new composers in commissioning new pieces, often seeking to push the boundaries of band literature.

Presented by Kappa Kappa Psi.
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