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ASU Wind Bands 2023–24 season creates valuable connections for students


ASU Wind Symphony performing at ASU Gammage. Photo courtesy the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre

September 22, 2023

Arizona State University’s Wind Bands 2023–24 season focuses on creating connections for students with guest artists and composers, concert performances and a composer-in-residence program, in addition to two one-day event experiences for middle school and high school students.

“There are a lot of ways that our students are going to make connections this year,” said Jason Caslor, associate professor and director of bands in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

Caslor said the Wind Bands are excited about making connections with two major composers — Nicole Piunno and Allison Loggins-Hull — who have both written works for the ASU Wind Ensemble and will be on campus working with the students. Students will also connect with Gary Hill, professor of music and director of bands emeritus at ASU, and Michael Haithcock, professor of music and director of bands emeritus at the University of Michigan.

Concert connections

The 2023–24 concert season highlights include performances of the classic pieces “Dionysiaques, Op. 62” (Florent Schmitt), “Lincolnshire Posy” (Percy Grainger) and “English Folk Song Suite” (Ralph Vaughan Williams), alongside world premieres by Piunno (“Sunflower Studies”) and Loggins-Hull (“Sum of Our Parts”).

Guest artist highlights include Robert Spring, professor of clarinet, Stephanie Gardner performing “Double Takes,” and James “Hud” Hudson, director of athletic bands, conducting Persichetti’s iconic "Symphony No. 6."

A special concert features the Wind Symphony’s preview of works for their featured performance at the 2024 Western/Northwestern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association in Las Vegas. Guest conductors Benjamin Lorenzo of Kent State University and Tyler Austin of Old Dominion University will round out the season.

In addition, Caslor and Jamal Duncan, assistant professor and associate director of bands, will each conduct the ASU Symphony Orchestra at ASU Gammage in spring concerts.

Connections with composers-in-residence

This season marks the third year the composer-in-residence program has been in existence at ASU. The three concert bands, the Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia are each assigned a student composer who will write a piece over the course of the year that will be performed by each ensemble.

All composition students are encouraged to apply, and the music composition faculty are co-collaborators on this exciting initiative. The composers are selected based upon the best fit for each performing ensemble and are partnered with one of the graduate conducting students by the conducting faculty. This year’s graduate Wind Band conducting students include Anna Scott (DMA), Kevin Joseph (MM) and Grant Knox (DMA).

Connections in the community

This season, ASU Wind Bands is expanding connections into the community by sharing the stage with a high school wind ensemble and offering two one-day events for middle school and high school students interested in continuing their involvement with a band program in college and/or pursuing a major in music.

At the season’s opening concert on Sept. 27, the ASU Wind Ensemble will be joined by the Mountain Ridge High School Wind Ensemble. The high school students will attend the Wind Ensemble’s dress rehearsal, attend master classes with ASU faculty, and work with guest composer Nicole Piunno.

Also in September, ASU Wind Bands will host the inaugural Middle School Honor Band, which will include instruction from ASU faculty and students, a tour of campus and a performance at 4 p.m. at ASU Gammage. Two guest conductors, Joyce McCall, assistant professor of music learning and teaching at ASU, and Erin Cole Steele, director of educational programs at Conn Selmer and band director for 20 years, will work with the students.

In October, ASU Wind Bands will be part of Be a Music Major Day for students considering music as career path to experience a day in the life of an ASU music student. Participating students will interact with current music students, meet the school’s music faculty, visit campus, attend classes and participate in ensemble rehearsals.

“Students will see firsthand how they are provided a rich and diverse musical education at ASU and experience how we prepare them for successful careers in music,” Duncan said.

For ASU Gammage ticketed events, tickets are available for $12 in person at the ASU Gammage box office or can be purchased online at Ticketmaster (fees apply). ASU students and Herberger Institute faculty and staff are eligible for complimentary tickets through the ASU Gammage box office.

2023–24 Concert Season

“Sunflower Studies”
ASU Wind Ensemble and ASU Wind Symphony
Mountain Ridge Wind Ensemble
7:30 p.m., Sept. 27
ASU Gammage

ASU Maroon and Gold Band and ASU Philharmonia 
7:30 p.m., Oct. 3
Tempe Center for the Arts

“Rites and Rituals” 
ASU Wind Ensemble and ASU Wind Symphony

7:30 p.m., Oct. 25
ASU Gammage

“Epics and Icons” 
ASU Wind Symphony and ASU Maroon and Gold Band
7:30 p.m., Nov. 21
ASU Gammage

ASU Wind Ensemble and ASU Wind Symphony
7:30 p.m., Feb. 8
ASU Gammage

ASU Maroon and Gold Band and ASU Philharmonia
7:30 p.m., Feb. 27
ASU Gammage

ASU Wind Ensemble
7:30 p.m., March 18     
Tempe Center for the Arts

ASU Wind Symphony
7:30 p.m., March 19 
Tempe Center for the Arts

ASU Wind Ensemble and ASU Philharmonia
7:30 p.m., April 16
ASU Gammage

ASU Wind Symphony and ASU Maroon and Gold Band
7:30 p.m., April 25
ASU Gammage

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