IU Wind Ensemble to perform at national college wind band convention

The Indiana University Wind Ensemble will perform at the College Band Directors National Association national conference in Nashville, Tenn., this Thursday evening, March 26. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Stephen Pratt

Stephen Pratt

The IU Wind Ensemble is conducted by Stephen Pratt, Jacobs School of Music professor, and will feature Jacobs professor Jeff Nelsen as guest soloist performing The Glass Bead Game by James Beckel.

Nelsen is best known as the hornist of the Canadian Brass, with which he toured and recorded for eight years. As professor of horn at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Nelsen teaches horn and chamber music. As a horn soloist, he has performed concerti with orchestra and given recitals on five continents. He has performed with dozens of orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Houston and National symphonies, Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras, and the Canadian and New York City Opera companies. He has held full-time positions in the Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg symphony orchestras.

The IU Wind Ensemble was selected, along with several other groups from across the nation, to perform at the national convention after a rigorous screening by a distinguished panel of musicians.

The concert will include music by two members of the Jacobs School composition faculty: Ra! by David Dzubay to open the concert and Jug Blues and Fat Pickin’ by Don Freund to bring the concert to a virtuosic conclusion. A brand new work by internationally known conductor and composer André Previn, Music for Wind Orchestra – No Strings Attached, will also be featured. The ensemble will also present the second performance of Rite of Passage arranged by Cliff Colnot. Colnot is a frequent guest conductor at the Jacobs School of Music and arranged the work for a performance by members of his Chicago Civic Orchestra, which premiered the work.

The IU Wind Ensemble holds a distinguished reputation for musical leadership in the wind band field. Recognized as one of the finest collegiate wind ensembles in the world, the ensemble is composed of some of the most advanced music majors from all areas of the Jacobs School of Music. The group performs a wide variety of the finest wind literature, including classics of the repertoire, chamber music for winds and contemporary works.

The ensemble has performed previously at all of the most important wind band national venues, including, in the last seven years, conventions held by the College Band Directors National Association, American Bandmasters Association and Music Educators National Conference.

Pratt teaches graduate wind conducting courses and is the chair of the Department of Bands/Wind Conducting at the Jacobs School. In demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator of wind bands and orchestras across the country, he is recipient of the Distinguished Service to Music medal awarded by Kappa Kappa Psi, the national collegiate band honorary organization. He has also been honored with the Outstanding Bandmaster award, Gamma chapter (Indiana) of Phi Beta Mu (1998), the Outstanding University Music Educator award, Indiana Music Educators Association (2001) and the Calvert Outstanding Music Educator Award (2014).

Pratt is a past president of the College Band Directors National Association North Central Division and past president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association. He is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association as well as a former member of the executive board of the National Band Association and has been a member of the Jacobs School of Music faculty since 1984.

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