Symphony chosen to perform in national concert

After performing for a Texas audience in February, the wind symphony will perform for a national audience next week.Bobby Francis, director of bands, said the wind symphony was chosen as one of the top bands in the nation to perform at the College Band Directors National Association’s national conference, which occurs every other year. The symphony will play in an evening performance March 29 in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Francis said he sent an audition CD to the association a year ago and was informed the university was chosen from a blind audition, which means the judges only listened to the music and did not look at any college or university names.

Jerry Junkin, president of the CBDNA, said there were about 60 bands that auditioned and nine were selected to perform.

Francis said Richard Gipson, director of the School of Music, allotted money to fund the trip. There are 65 musicians in the wind symphony, but Francis said they will travel with 95 people which includes staff, soloists and choir members.

This is the first time in TCU’s history a band has been invited to perform at a CBDNA conference, Francis said, and the university unofficially received the top ranking.

The wind symphony has been preparing for this for a year, Francis said, but has stepped up the rehearsal schedule since the spring semester began.

Adam Quinn, senior entrepreneurial management major, said members of the symphony returned to campus a week before the spring semester began to rehearse every day. He said they were also preparing for the Texas Music Educators Association performance in February, but kept to a two hour rehearsal three times a week.

“This is rewarding for me to know that this is my fifth year in this ensemble and now it’s finally all paying off because the TCU Music Department is flying us 1,500 miles so that we can perform in front of college band directors from all over the country,” Quinn said.

“Music is something that I have enjoyed for the last 13 years of my life, and I know it has been one of the greatest things I have ever done,” said Quinn, a saxophonist.

He said many doors have been opened for him because of music, and he enjoys the fact that 50 or 60 different people from different ages, backgrounds and majors can come together to work toward a common purpose like this performance.

Quinn said in the time he has been at the university, the wind symphony has never performed at a convention on a national level.

Rachael Chilton, junior music education major, said this is one of the highest honors the wind symphony can receive among college bands.

Chilton said a composer, Michael Colgrass, is visiting the university before the convention to work with the musicians.

Colgrass is a musician, composer, educator and Pulitzer Prize winner.

Chilton said her favorite part about playing in the wind symphony is playing with musicians that are enthusiastic and want to be there. She also said Francis’ enthusiasm to take the time to submit their music means he truly cares for the symphony.