Bands on the Composers Datebook

The College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) has been sponsoring segments on American Public Media’s daily radio show Composer’s Datebook since 2012, and there have been quite a few segments lately.  It’s just two minutes per day and is easy to listen to. In the Oklahoma City area, it’s on weekdays at 2:58 PM on KCSC (90.1 FM). For other areas or satellite, find your station here.

But if you want more, or don’t have the time, it’s on the Web. Or do what I do and subscribe to the free podcast and let iTunes or the client of your choice download it every day.

Today’s entry (February 8, 2013) was about the invention of the modern Wind Ensemble at the Eastman School of Music with Frederic Fennell—their first concert was on February 8, 1953. The February 9 show is about Ron Nelson’s Rocky Point Holiday, which debuted at the CBDNA convention on February 9, 1967. It describes the inspiration, the commission, and how it became famous. Both broadcasts are available in the archive for this week: Composers Datebook: 2/4/2013-2/10/2013. It requires Flash to listen to them online, but the podcast is a pure MP3 file you can save and play however.

Next Wednesday, February 13, Composers Datebook is about Music for Prague 1968 by Karel Husa, with two more CBDNA-sponsored episodes during the week.

Composers Datebook is a production of APM and the American Composers Forum, whose BandQuest program, creating new and challenging works by American composers that are true departures from the normal middle-school band repertoire. Funds for the cited episodes are provided by CBDNA. And as the tag line reminds everyone: All music was once new.

January 2013 Newsletter!

The January 2013 OUBAA Newsletter is 11 jam-packed pages, packed with jam.

No! Packed with full-color photographs from Homecoming 2012, letters from Gene Thrailkill, and Bill Wakefield, and a letter from Brian Britt upon leaving the position of director of the Pride of Oklahoma. (Be sure to see the invitation to the farewell reception!) There are farewell thank-yous from outgoing drum major Zack Hedrick and outgoing feature twirler Megan McGeary, and lots and lots of letters from your fellow band alumni. And no forms to fill out, no registrations to send in, none of that! Just a good old-fashioned newsletter, now in glorious extra-color!

Download it now in PDF format for ultra enjoyment!

Speed Up the Band: School Bands in the Age of the Hurry-Up Offense

A new post at prestigious sports-blog Grantland talks about what it’s like at schools around the country to play pep tunes when the offense may get to the line of scrimmage in just a few seconds:

Speed Up the Band: School Bands in the Age of the Hurry-Up Offense – The Triangle Blog – Grantland.

The author is not necessarily a band fan, and admit as a sportswriter he was “trained” to ignore bands, but noticed something during bedlam:

[The Pride] only had a few seconds between snaps. Yet within each of those quickly disappearing windows they managed to blast out a combination of notes that were not only instantly recognizable, but cut off at some logical end point. It was as if a talented magician was doing the same act that had made him famous, only now he was wearing a straitjacket.

(Try to forgive him for cutting about 100 members out of the band.) It’s interesting to see how other schools cope with the same thing, and to realize that of those interviewed, only at OU does most of the responsibility fall on the Drum Major, not on the band director. Ahead of the curve yet again! Game management is a lot more complicated than in my time, and not only does it fall to student drum majors at OU—they continue to do such an outstanding job that national sportswriters are noticing. Congrats to all!

Welcome Visitors!

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