CBDNA 2011 Conference

Article by Eric Rombach-Kendall, CBDNA President

Download the programmes from the CBDNA 2011 Seattle Conference

The 2011 CBDNA National Conference in Seattle, Washington, March 23-26 at the University of Washington, consisted of four days of outstanding concerts by the following groups:

  • Ball State University Wind Ensemble, Thomas E. Caneva
  • Texas State University Wind Ensemble, Rodney Schuller and Caroline Beatty
  • Boise State University Symphonic Winds, Marcellus Brown and Eric Smedley
  • California State University Long Beach Wind Symphony, John Carnahan and Joan de Albuquerque
  • Hartt School Foot in the Door Ensemble: Glen Adsit and Matthew Aubin
  • Central Washington University Wind Ensemble: Larry Gookin with Keith Brion Guest Conductor
  • University of Miami - Frost Wind Ensemble: Gary Green
  • University of Washington Wind Ensemble: Timothy Salzman and Steven Morrison
  • Small College Intercollegiate Band: Lowell Graham

As is usual for CBDNA National Conferences, a number of World Premieres were given:

  • A Toast to BenDaniel Kellogg
  • As You Like ItJody Nagel
  • Music from the Redneck Songbook IIScott McAllister
  • This is AfricaShawn E. Okpebholo
  • ReminiscencesMark Camphouse
  • Avelynn's LullabyJoel Puckett
  • Burning MusicJess Langston Turner
  • EquinoxJoseph Turrin
  • Sea-Blue CircuitryMason Bates
  • from the language of shadowsHuck Hodg
  • Solitary Confinement (wind ensemble version)Cuong Vu, trans. Salzman

A number of other works composed since the 2009 CBDNA Conference included:

  • Manhattan Roll (wind ensemble version)Robert Beaser
  • Richard and ReneéCarter Pann
  • Centennial Celebration FanfareJohn Carnahan
  • Haiku Symphony No. 4Josh Hummel
  • Dragon RhymeChen Yi
  • Symphony #1 (wind ensemble version)Frank Ticheli, trans. Green
  • Lost VegasMichael Daugherty
  • Music from Halo (wind ensemble version)Martin O'Donnell, trans. Salzman

The University of Missouri-Kansas City, Steven Davis, Conductor and William Everett, Speaker, gave an outstanding lecture performance of the Serenade in D Minor, Op. 44 of Antonín Dvorak. Typically, a performance of a standard work known by all in attendance would gain little notice, but the UMKC presentation was a fresh approach to presenting this masterpiece.

Likewise, members of the Seattle Symphony Chamber Players under the baton of David Waybright and Stage Direction/Narration by John Laverty, gave a fresh presentation of Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat using the libretto of American writer Kurt Vonnegut. The program, titled An American Soldier's Tale, featured cast performances by Jerry Junkin, Stephen Peterson, Sarah McKoin and John Watkins.

As is typical after a CBDNA National Conference, one spends the next two years studying the scores of works that one finds interesting. My personal interest was perked by several new works and one revised edition of a much older work. In no particular order those pieces are:

From the language of shadows: Huck Hodge. The music was presented with F.W. Murnau's 1926 silent film version of the Faust legend, an expressionistic cinematic masterpiece from the Weimar period. The music and film integrate well and I found the performance compelling.

Solitary Confinement: Cuong Vu. Featuring the Cuong Vu Trio, Cuong Vu: trumpet, Stomu Takeishi: bass, Ted Poor: drums. The performance of this music is likely dependent upon the unique nature of this particular trio which "crisscrosses styles and conventional musical languages in pursuit of a new sonic dialect without boundaries."

Dragon Rhyme: Chen Yi. This is another outstanding contribution to the wind ensemble repertoire by Chen Yi, combining Chinese and western traditions.

Avelynn's Lullaby: Joel Puckett. Akin to Hold This Boy and Listen of Carter Pann and Lullaby for Noah of Joseph Turrin, Joel Puckett brings his own voice to this refreshing trend of writing gentler works for the wind ensemble.

Sea-Blue Circuitry: Mason Bates. Currently serving as composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony, Bates brings a unique voice to the wind ensemble medium, exploring "ways of creating the precision of electronica through the instruments alone."

Equinox: Joseph Turrin. Scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, horn, trumpet, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, harp, piano and, 2 percussion, the work hardly qualifies as a wind ensemble piece. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful piece of music and in the middle of a band conference it was a refreshing palette change. The composer includes four poems by Edgar Allan Poe, the composer himself, Percy Bysshe Shelly, and a text from The Egyptian Book of the Dead, which may be recited or not, before each of the four movements.

Symphonie pour Musique d'Harmonie: Paul Fauchet. This is a new version by Michel Etchegoncelay of the 1926 work written for the Musique de la Garde Republicaine de Paris.