Page 11 - American Band College 2015 Concert Program
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ABC—A Short History
DevelopmentoftheMaster’sDegree GuestComposersandConductors Soloists have included: Doc Severinsen
Allen Vizzutti Yolanda Pelzer Dallas Brass Eugene Rousseau Jim Walker Scott Plugge Canadian Brass Sam Pilafian
Launched as a workshop for band direc- tors in the summer of 1989, only 26 at- tended. By 1992, then President of South- ern Oregon University, Joseph Cox, had created an empty-shell degree concept through the Oregon State Board of Higher Ed and ABC instantly qualified. Within 6 months we had the degree formulated and had six would-be candidates from 1991 plus seven new students form the basis of the new degree program.
ABC/SHSU Grad Class of 2014
In 1994 the first graduating class of six completed the degree by taking exit writ- ten and oral exams. From that class, Elva K. Lance later became Director of Bands at Mississippi State University and Paul Kassulke joined ABC/Bandworld/WIBC full-time in 2007 as Director of Opera- tions.
In the early years the ABC Band was a combination of attending directors, with a few working on the degree, and com- munity musicians who helped fill out the instrumentation for public concerts. By 2002, we found it necessary to split to two bands with over 175 attendees including 140 master’s candidates.
In 2010, the American Band College pro- gram realigned with Sam Houston State University of Huntsville, Texas with over 200 full-time candidates in the program. By August of 2015, our graduate total will reach 860 with 65 in the graduating class.
One of ABC’s greatest assets is its im- mersion program concept that allows candidates to study with 24 of the world’s finest teachers each summer. This faculty includes experts on each of the band in- struments as well as top conductors who lecture on conducting and serve as as- sessment faculty as each of our candidates conducts music with one of the two bands. Candidate work prior to the start of ABC makes it possible for them to conduct and prepare music for the visiting guest con- ductors and soloists who will appear on the public concerts (June 25 and July 4).
Over the years guests have included some of the best known composers in our busi-
Bobby Shew Boston Brass Brian Bowman Marianne Gedigian Robert Spring Dale Underwood Pat Sheridan
Alfred Reed
Johan de Meij Francis McBeth James Curnow Robert W. Smith Ralph Hultgren Brian Balmages
To name only a few
And finest conductors:
Arnald Gabriel Ray Cramer Paula Crider Frank Wickes Lowell Graham Mike Bankhead And dozens more.
Anthony Maiello Peter Boonshaft James Keene Robert Ponto Bruce Dinkins Frederick Fennell
Warren Barker Jan Van der Roost James Barnes David Holsinger Frank Ticheli Frank Erickson John O’Reilly
And many, many more Commissions & Premieres
de Meij 2010 Finale: At Kitty O’Shea’s
As early as 1990, ABC frequently did first- performances of new pieces written by Hol- lywood composer, Warren Barker.
In 2006, Johan de Meij premiered his set- ting of Patrick Doyle’s music from “Henry V”. In 2007, “Dublin Dances” was com- missioned and composer, Jan Van der Roost from Belgium conducted the pre- miere. A year later the ABC class of 2008 commissioned Robert W. Smith to write the official march (To the Max). In 2010, an ABC Consortium Commission resulted in the premiere performance of Johan de Meij’s “At Kitty O’Shea’s”.
The 25th anniversary year of 2013 in- cluded four world premier performances including the Johan de Meij/Bill Whelan band setting of “Riverdance” plus “Five by Five” for the 3 trumpet soloists, “Amer- ican Anthem” for Arnald Gabriel & “Cara- van Fantasy“ for Doc Severinsen. And so it goes!
Canadian Brass with ABC in 2014

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