600 Performers, Directors, Composers Expected for College Band Directors Conference

Anthony Barfield and David Biedenbender
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Anthony Barfield and David Biedenbender

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Bands will host the Southwestern Division conference of the College Band Directors National Association March 19-22. The event will include nine concerts, more than a dozen research sessions and three question-and-answer sessions with guest composers. More than 100 band directors and 500 performers from several states including Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are expected to attend.

“A major part of the mission of the University of Arkansas Bands program is to serve as a resource for university and public school instrumental music programs,” said Chris Knighten, director of university bands. “The opportunity to host this conference, with more than twenty outstanding concerts and research sessions in a four-day period, gives us an opportunity to provide such outreach. It also gives us an opportunity to showcase the musicianship and artistry of our own students.”

Noted composers in attendance will include Anthony Barfield, David Biedenbender, Steven Bryant, Ryan Chase, James David, Eric Honour, Michael Markowski, David Maslanka, Daniel Tacke and Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Colgrass.

As the host institution, the University of Arkansas will present the conference’s keynote concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 21, in the Walton Arts Center. The University of Arkansas Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Knighten, will perform Collaborations, which will feature department of music faculty members including assistant professor of trombone Cory Mixdorf, senior wind band conductor and professor of music W. Dale Warren, University Professor of percussion Chal Ragsdale and instructor of music Matthew Mihalka. Composers Barfield and Biedenbender will also conduct a two-day residency with students, which will culminate in the performance of their respective pieces. 

The program is as follows:

  • Festfanfare, Alfred Uhl
  • La création du monde, Darius Milhaud
  • Red Sky, Anthony Barfield. Cory Mixdorf, trombone
  • The Three Embraces, Carter Pann
  • Tunbridge Fair, Walter Piston. W. Dale Warren, conductor
  • "The Beaches of Lukannon," from the Jungle Book Cycle, Percy Grainger, arr. by Chal Ragsdale
  • Stomp, David Biedenbender

The conference will also host the Southwestern Division's first Intercollegiate Honor Band, comprised of 75 students from seven states. The Intercollegiate Band will be conducted by Michael Haithcock, director of bands and the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan. The band will rehearse Thursday-Saturday in Janzen Hall in the Lewis E. Epley Jr. Band Hall.

The conference will include performances by many collegiate concert bands including the Abilene Christian University Wind Ensemble, Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble, Arkansas Tech University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Texas Christian University Symphonic Band, Texas State University Wind Ensemble, Truman State University Wind Ensemble and University of Central Missouri Wind Ensemble.

Tickets for the concerts, including the University of Arkansas Wind Ensemble’s Friday performance, are $1 for students with valid University of Arkansas identification and $5 for the general public and will be available at the door.

A full schedule of conference events and concerts is available at the University of Arkansas Bands website.  

Contacts

Robert Hopper, associate director of operations
University of Arkansas Bands
479-575-4100, rghoppe@uark.edu

Darinda Sharp, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-3712, dsharp@uark.edu

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