Issue: April-June 2012
Bandworld Magazine Page


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by M. Max McKee  Bio


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ABC Master's Degree: The First Ten Years

Beginning in 1992 the American Band College Summer Workshop became a full-fledged master's degree program for those who wished to follow the 3-summer track. The unique aspect of the program is that each candidate in the program follows an individual track in which the areas of study reflect candidate weaknesses to be developed over 3 years. Each candidate attends every lecture session by the 24-member faculty (over 70 sessions) to gain depth of teaching skills even in all 28 of the study areas covered via clinics. With at least one faculty member delivering three 50-minute sessions on all woodwind, brass and percussion instruments as well as rehearsal tech, program management, etc., ABC totally changes its faculty on a 3-year rotation basis. In this way, each candidate with attend 9 clinics delivered by 3 different world-class experts on flute, oboe, trumpet, tuba, percussion, etc.

Candidates also perform in the ABC Directors' Band three hours each day. Half of the time is spent on sightreading new music, the other half preparing for a concert under top professionals in our business. Through refinement of the ABC master's program, eventually all sightreading conducting became a requirement for 2nd year candidates. For concert preparation, the 3rd year candidates were assigned music for the guest conductors, always begin work with the band on day four of each 6-day session.

From 1992 through 2001, the following conductors appeared either first or second week of ABC's June 21-July 4 annual run:

Eckroth Barnes barker Strange Gabriel Lautz Curnow deMeij Akhmetov
Eckroth Barnes       Barker      Strange       Gabriel  Lautzenheiser Curnow de Meij Akhmetov
McBeth Fennell Pich Cassey Bankhead VanderRoost Bourgeois Brand DelBorgo
McBeth Fennell Pichaureau      Cassey Bankhead Van der Roost Bourgeois Brand Del Borgo
Reed Kuijpers Sparke Hutton Smith Langlet

1991 – U.S. Army Brass Quintet
1992 – Allen Vizzutti (Tpt), John Phillips (sax)
1993 – Fred Sautter (trumpet)
            Gary Foster (WWs), Ed Shaughnessy (drums)
1994 – Randy Eyles (percussion), Dallas Brass
1995 – Brian Bowman (euphonium)
            Eddie Daniels (clarinet), K. Akhmetov (trombone)
1996 – Mike Vax (Trumpet), Gary Foster (WWs)
            Jim Walker (flute)
1997 – Buddy Baker (Tbn), P Leines + C Cassey (vocals)
1998 – Alexander Tutunov (piano), Dale Underwood (sax)
1999 – Brian Bowman (euph), Ellison Glattly (vocal)
            Gary Foster (flute, clarinet, sax)
2000 – Brent Watkins (piano)*, Dallas Brass
2001 – Allen Vizzutti (trumpet)
           Jim Walker (flute), Ellison Glattly (vocal)

Reed Kuijpers Sparke Hutton Smith Langlet
* Brent Watkins, a Southern Oregon University student of Alexander Tutunov, had just won the national piano competition playing "Rhapsody in Blue." He filled in at the last moment for Irish tenor, John McDermott, who had to cancel when his sister died.


Concert Lineups: From 1992 through 1996 (as well as the earlier years), Warren Barker appeared every year but one. By 1994 we began to see that having an international conductor/composer was an important exposure for the more and more band directors who were joining the ABC master's program. It was at this point that we decided to feature the same main conductors only once every three years. Tim Lautzenheiser continued as a mainstay of our program, presenting a one-hour leadership session before graduation on July 3 and then serving as master of ceremonies and conductor of Americana on the 4th of July concert.

American Band College Summer: Conductors 1992-2001
1992 Loran Eckroth Warren Barker Jim Barnes   Tim Lautzenheiser
1993 Richard Strange Warren Barker Arnald Gabriel   Tim Lautzenheiser
1994 Jim Curnow Warren Barker Johan de Meij   Tim Lautzenheiser
1995 Francis McBeth Philippe Langlet Kanat Akhmetov   Tim Lautzenheiser
1996 Frederick Fennell Warren Barker Claude Pichaureau Charles Cassey Tim Lautzenheiser
1997 Jan Van de Roost Mike Bankhead John Bourgeois   Tim Lautzenheiser
1998 Geoffrey Brand Elliot Del Borgo Johan de Meij Alfred Reed Tim Lautzenheiser
1999 Pierre Kuijpers Jim Curnow Kanat Akhmetov Arnald Gabriel Tim Lautzenheiser
2000 Francis McBeth Mike Bankhead* Jan Van der Roost   Tim Lautzenheiser
2001 Philip Sparke Alfred Reed Cynthia Hutton† Robert W. Smith Tim Lautzenheiser

  * Conducted on concert both weeks.
  † Conducted for Eugene Corporan who canceled.

Next time: ABC conductors from 2002-2012.



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