Strike Up the Bands! American Bandmasters Association Free Concerts

Wind Symphony sitting on stage in Griffin Concert Hall
The 2018-2019 CSU Wind Symphony. October 3, 2018

The American Bandmasters Association is holding its 2019 national convention on March 6-10 at the Embassy Suites Loveland Hotel & Conference Center. This is the first time the annual convention has been held in Colorado since the inception of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA) in 1930.

Rebecca Phillips
Dr. Rebecca Phillips, Director of Bands at CSU

Rebecca Phillips, director of bands at Colorado State University and Richard Mayne, professor of music/associate director of bands at the University of Northern Colorado are co-hosting the event.

In a welcoming statement written for the ABA conference program, CSU President Tony Frank writes, “Music is an adventure, a rigorous and uplifting experience, an awakening to the soaring heights and boundless scope of human endeavor. It is also an integral part of the life and culture of Colorado State University. And so we are deeply pleased and honored to host your conference here, along with our partners at the University of Northern Colorado.”

The CSU Wind Symphony, conducted by Dr. Phillips, will perform at the conference on the evening of Wednesday, March 6. Phillips invites the campus and Northern Colorado communities to show their support of music at Colorado State University by attending the free performance.

A celebration of past, present, and future

According to ABA President Lowell Graham, the 2019 conference celebrates the history of bands and music in our nation. “We pay homage to our founding fathers while taking their example to look forward to the future. It is about new and renewed friendships that strengthen our resolve to impart traditions and philosophies.” Graham is the former commander/conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band and was born and raised in Colorado.

CSU graduate percussion student Michael Hamilton

Four university bands were extended invitations to perform at the conference, including the CSU Wind Symphony and UNC Wind Ensemble, giving their first performances at an ABA convention. The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. is presenting the final free concert on Friday evening (*free tickets required, see below).

“I’m thrilled that our music students have this opportunity to perform at a major music convention,” exclaims Phillips about the Wind Symphony’s emergence onto the national stage. “It’s a prestigious moment for the band, as well as the University, to be invited to perform for the ABA conference as ensemble performances at this level must stand up to the committee’s rigorous selection standards.”

Historically significant program

Expressing CSU’s commitment to the humanities, the 2018-2019 Wind Symphony season has explored how humans developa creative, moral, spiritual, and intellectual understanding of the world. The historically significant program entitled Foundations: A Celebration of Liberal Arts/HISTORYfeatures works from multiple eras of wind band repertoire with guest conductors selected in honor of six ABA founding members. The concert also features CSU faculty Wesley Ferreira, clarinet; Tiffany Blake, soprano; and James David, composer.

Dr. Phillips marvels at the high level of collaboration students, applied faculty, and staff have contributed in preparing for the event. “It’s truly a team effort between everyone in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance when an ensemble plays in this type of setting,” she adds.

The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at CSU looks forward to playing for our supporters. Please join us!

Schedule of ABA Concerts

All concerts are free and open to the public and will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center, 4705 Clydesdale Pkwy, Loveland.

The schedule of free concerts is as follows:

Wednesday, March 6

  • 7:30 p.m. — Kansas State University Wind Ensemble
  • 8:40 p.m. — Colorado State University Wind Symphony

Thursday, March 7

  • 7:30 p.m. — University of Texas-El Paso Wind Symphony
  • 8:40 p.m. — University of Northern Colorado Wind Ensemble

*Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m. — United States Air Force Band, Washington D.C.

* Please note, although the U.S. Air Force Band concert is free, tickets are required. The free tickets are available at

The Embassy Suites Loveland Hotel & Conference Center is located at 4705 Clydesdale Pkwy, Loveland, Colorado.

Wind Symphony Concert Program

Lohengrin: Introduction to Act III (1850) / RICHARD WAGNER arr. George Drumm
Conducted by Frank B. Wickes, Louisiana State University Director of Bands Emeritus and Past ABA President in honor of founding ABA member and Past President Albert Austin Harding

“Habanera” from Carmen / GEORGES BIZET arr. Lawrence Odon
Tiffany Blake, soprano, Director of CSU Ralph Opera Program
Conducted by John R. Locke, The University of North Carolina – Greensboro Director of Bands Emeritus and Past ABA President in honor of founding ABA member Charles Benter

“Apollo Unleashed” from Symphony No. 2 (2003/2006) / FRANK TICHELI
Conducted by Myron Welch, The University of Iowa Director of Bands Emeritus and Past ABA President in honor of Past ABA President William Moody

New York Hippodrome March (1915) / JOHN PHILIP SOUSA
Conducted by Andrew DeNicola, John P. Stevens High School Director of Bands in honor of First Honorary Life President of ABA John Philip Sousa

Concerto for Clarinet / ARTIE SHAW arr. by Ted Parson
Wesley Ferreira, clarinet, CSU Associate Professor of Music
Conducted by Shelby Chipman, Florida A&M University Director of Bands in honor of founding ABA member Arthor Pryor

Ghosts of the Old Year (2017) / JAMES DAVID
Conducted by Rebecca Phillips, Colorado State University Director of Bands in honor of Associate ABA Members Ernest and Adolph Ostwald