Wind Orchestra to perform first concert under new director

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
October 11, 2010

Just six months ago, the Indiana State University Wind Orchestra performed its last concert with long time director John Boyd. On Thursday, it will perform its first concert under new director, Roby George.

Thursday marks the first concert in this year's series for the ISU Wind Orchestra and Symphonic Band and George's first public appearance as their conductor. The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. in Tilson Auditorium.

George will conduct the Wind Orchestra on five works including Frank Ticheli's "Nitro" and Leonard Bernstein's "Slava." He will also conduct the Symphonic Band along with Gary Wallyn, interim associate director of bands, as it performs four works, including "Ride" by Samuel Hazo and "Chant and Jubilo" by Francis McBeth.

The theme for Thursday's program is "Our Heritage." George chose this theme because he said it is important to define what bands do and how they have defined and developed themselves over the years.

From the early 1900s to the present time band programs in America have developed, allowing university band programs to take center stage as professional ensembles, especially in the absence of professional bands, except, of course, for the military bands, George said.

"University bands have evolved and the Midwest is where it all happened," he said.

George gives a great deal of credit to the directors at schools in the Midwest such as the University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana University and of course, Indiana State University. The strong directors put these schools on the cutting edge, George said.

The concert on Thursday will begin the tribute to the history of band programs across America and the next concert in its series on Dec. 1 will continue this theme. George has asked two former ISU Director of Bands, John Boyd and George Graesch, to guest conduct and is also putting together old photographs to trace the history of ISU's band program from the 1930s to the present. These photographs will be displayed in the Heritage Ballroom for the reception following the December concert.

"It will be a true historical retrospective," George said.

George was named the new director of bands this summer and has already created a vision for what he would like to accomplish during the next five years. This mission centers on continuing the tradition of the music department at ISU but also recruiting students that can help raise the standards, George said.

The ISU Wind Orchestra also will perform under the direction of George in downtown Indianapolis at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in February. This will be George's official debut concert and he hopes that it will attract students from Indianapolis schools to the university and begin his recruitment plan.

Contact: Roby George, Indiana State University, director of bands and associate professor of music, at 812-237-2771 or Roby.George@indstate.edu

Writer: Alexandra Larkin, Indiana State University, media relations intern, at 812-237-3773