Wind and percussion musicians featured at 51st annual festival April 4
The School of Music at Western Michigan University will present the 51st annual Spring Conference on Wind and Percussion Music in Miller Auditorium and Dalton Center on Thursday, April 4. Spring Conference is a day-long event presented each year to “promote the performance, understanding, and composition of quality wind and percussion music.” The event is free and is open to music educators, high school and college students, parents, and all people interested in band music.
Each year the festival focuses on a guest composer/conductor whose works are featured during the conference. This year’s featured artist is composer Carter Pann.
The day’s activities will include two afternoon band concerts presented by the Ann Arbor Skyline High School Symphony Band conducted by Jason Smith (1 p.m.) and the L’Anse Creuse High School Wind Symphony conducted by Russell S. Hilton and Walter McCray (2:45 p.m.), both in Miller Auditorium.
The conference will conclude with an evening performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Auditorium. The concert will feature performances by the Western Michigan University Wind Symphony, conducted by Scott Boerma, and the 120-member Carter Pann All-Star Band. Students from 40 Michigan high schools were nominated by their band directors for the honor of performing in this band. Traditionally, over 90 percent of this ensemble’s membership is awarded to musicians who hold first-chair-player positions in their own high school bands.
Composer/pianist Carter Pann has written for—and worked alongside—musicians from around the world, including performances by the London Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony, the Tchaikovsky Symphony in Moscow, radio symphonies around Europe, the Seattle Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, youth orchestras of New York and Chicago, and many wind ensembles.
Pann has written for clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, the Antares Ensemble, the Capitol Saxophone Quartet, the West Coast Wind Quintet, the River Oaks Chamber Ensemble, the Takács Quartet, the Flute New Music Consortium and many concert pianists. Awards include a Charles Ives Fellowship, a Masterprize seat in London and five ASCAP awards. His numerous albums encompass solo, vocal, chamber, orchestral and wind music and have received two Grammy® nominations to date. Pann was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2016.
Pann is the Christoffersen Faculty Fellow in Composition in the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder. In his spare time, he challenges his students over the chessboard.
Three Markowski band works will be performed at this year’s conference. Ann Arbor and L’Anse Creuse will both perform Hold this Boy and Listen during their afternoon performances. The evening concert will feature two Pann works: Double Concerto – Baroque, performed by the University Wind Symphony, and At Her Ladyship’s Request, performed by the Carter Pann High School All-Star Band and conducted by the composer.