CSU Wind Ensemble Garners Nationally Prestigious Invitation

Columbus --- For the first time, Columbus State University has been invited to the College Band Directors National Association national convention, an extremely prestigious invitation that signals national prominence and recognition.

Seven other bands will join CSU at the conference, but each of those schools are large state universities with at least three times as many music majors, said CSU Wind Ensemble Conductor Robert Rumbelow. He said he doesnt remember an invitation ever being extended to a school the size of CSU.

This is the World Series for college wind bands. We are absolutely honored to be in this collection of schools, Rumbelow said. It is the most competitive and prestigious invitation that an ensemble at CSU has ever received in the history of the school.

Other universities that will participate the conference in March 2003 are Ohio State University, University of Miami, University of Kentucky, Arizona State University, University of Southern California, Indiana University and the host school, University of Minnesota.

The conference represents whats best in university art music for winds. It is probably the most academic and senior conference that wind conductors attend, Rumbelow said.

To be considered for the biannual conference, recordings are sent to a judging committee that reviews each submission blindly. After picking the top musical pieces, Rumbelow said, the committee evaluates the caliber of the program behind the recording to make sure only the top schools will be in attendance at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA).

To be honored by peer review in any field is the highest form of affirmation in academia, said CBDNA President Michael Haithcock, director of bands at the University of Michigan.

The CSU Wind Ensemble was one of seven chosen from across the country, truly demonstrating the quality of both the faculty and students, he said. As president of CBDNA, I am thrilled that our international membership will have the opportunity to hear this splendid group and learn firsthand more about the excellent Schwob School of Music.

Most conference participants commission new works of music to be performed for the first time during the week. Some directors, such as Rumbelow, will prepare for the conference by researching existing music, or trying out a new composition by an unknown composer, to find a rarely heard piece to perform.

Its all part of the educational aspect of the CBDNA, which will attract musicians from throughout the world and feature internationally known speakers.

As part of the conference, the CSU Wind Ensemble will be part of a boxed set of performance recordings by the participants. This recording will mark the ensemble's third commercial recording (one Heritage of the March series recording with Hal Gibson at the helm, and one CD recorded last school year to be released this September on the Mark Label). As the students prepare for that, Rumbelow is planning a public performance of this special program at 8:30 p.m. on March 20 in Legacy Hall.

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For more information, contact Robert Rumbelow at (706) 649-7252 or by e-mail: Rumbelow_Robert@ColumbusState.edu