The following is the press release I wrote for the American Band College. I know that most of you have seen the July 4th Parade in Ashland at least once over the last 20 years. You must have noticed those guys and gals on the flat bed truck playing band music. Until I started doing publicity for ABC, I thought they were locals who got together to perform on July 4th. Now I know that they are actually high school and college band directors who are getting their masters. The American Band College bands perform two concerts — the one at the Ashland High School football stadium in conjunction with the fireworks display on July 4 and the following one on June 26 at the Craterian. I prefer the concert at the Craterian because the bands perform more symphonic band music. I’ve seen Allen Vizzutti perform in past years and he is incredible. So, come see the concert!!
AMERICAN BAND COLLEGE DIRECTORSâ€™ BAND CONCERT AT CRATERIAN ON JUNE 26
Medford â€“ On Thursday, June 26, the American Band College Directorsâ€™ Band presents its 20th Annual Ginger Rogers Craterian concert. This yearâ€™s concert is dedicated to two long-time influential band directors, Al and Gladys Wright, who will each conduct one piece during the evening. Principle guest conductors are Ralph Hultgren, professor at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Australia, and Bruce Dinkins, a 30-year concert band director now teaching at James Bowie High School in Austin, TX. Soloist is trumpeter’ Allen Vizzutti, who has performed with Chick Corea, Doc Severinsen, the NBC Tonight Show Band, the Airmen of Note, the Army Blues, Chuck Mangoine, Woody Herman and others.
Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors 62 and up, and $7 for kids under 12. Tickets are available through the Craterian box office at 541-779-3000, on line at bandworld.org or at Cripple Creek Music in Ashland.
There will be two American Band College Directorsâ€™ Bands, each consisting of over 100 high school, middle school and college band directors who are earning their Masters degrees through the ABC three-year program. Although most work is done independently, for two weeks in June and July, participants come to SOU to study under the worldâ€™s foremost performers and conductors. The first week culminates in the Craterian concert. The second week culminates in the July 4th Fireworks Concert at the Ashland High School football stadium.
Al and Gladys Wright have spent a combined 175 years teaching high school and college students band music. Gladys Wright was the first woman to be inducted into the National Band Conductors Hall of Fame for Distinguished Conductors. Her other awards include being the first woman elected to the American Bandmasters Association, the first woman to receive membership in the bandmasters fraternity Phi Beta Mu, the National Band Associationâ€™s Citation of Excellence and the John Phillip Sousa Foundationâ€™s Sudler Order Gold Medal.
Al Wright was director of the Miami Senior High School Bands from 1938-1954 when he accepted the position of director of bands at Purdue University. In 1954, he helped found the American School Band Directors Association and, in 1961, he founded the National Band Association. In 1978, he helped Colonel George Howard develop the John Philip Sousa Foundation and has served as its President, CEO and Chairman of the Board. Al Wright will be celebrating his 92 birthday by conducting a Henry Fillmore march during the June 26 ABC Craterian concert.
Equally at home in a multitude of musical idioms, soloist Vizzutti has visited 30 countries and every state in the union to perform with a rainbow of artists and ensembles including Chick Corea, Doc Severinsen, The NBC Tonight Show Band, the Airmen of Note, the Army Blues, Chuck Mangoine, Woody Herman, Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Kosei Wind Orchestra. Performing as a classical and jazz artist, he has appeared as a guest soloist with symphony orchestras in Tokyo, Germany, St. Louis, Syracuse, Honolulu, Milwaukee, Phoenix and many others. In addition, Vizzutti has performed solo at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Newport Jazz Festival, Banff Center for the Performing Arts, Montreaux Jazz Festival, the Charles Ives Center and the Lincoln Center in New York.
With a continued commitment to education and the value of music in everyday life, Vizzutti has an extensive schedule of guest appearances at universities throughout Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States each year. As Artist-in-Residence, he has taught at the Eastman School of Music, the Banff Center for the performing Arts, the University of Washington, Kansas State University and West Texas State University. The Allen Vizzutti Trumpet Method published by Alfred Music has become a standard work for trumpet study worldwide.
Vizzutti will be featured in his own composition, American Jazz Suite, the traditional Carnival of Venice, designed to showcase his style and virtuosity, and Ode for Trumpet (2nd movement) by Alfred Reed.
Guest conductor Hultgren is currently head of the Pre-tertiary Studies at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Victoria, Australia. He began his music career as a trumpet player in 1970 and has performed with the central Band of the Royal Australian Air Force, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Brass Choir and as a freelance musician for theater, opera, cabaret and recording studios.
Hutgrenâ€™s conducting credits include: the Australian Youth Wind Orchestra, the National Institute of Education (Singapore) Symphonic Band, Hong Kong Youth Symphonic Band, Queensland University of Technology Wind Symphony, University of Northern Iowa Wind Symphony, University of St Thomas Wind Ensemble and the Queensland State Youth Wind Ensemble. He is a founding member of the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association and is a member of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. In 1998 he became the recipient of the Citation of Excellence, the Australian Band & Orchestra Directors’ Association’s highest honor. As composer/arranger in residence for the Queensland Department of Education’s Instrumental Music Program, Hultgren produced 185 works.
Hultgren will be conducting Listen! and Joshua, two of his newer compositions.
Since 2001, guest conductor Dinkins has been the band director at James Bowie High School in Austin, TX, leading the band to winning several awards, including the Sudler Shield awarded by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. An educator for more than 30 years, Dinkins has taught at Irmo High School in South Carolina, North Gwinnett High School Emory University, and Georgia State University in Georgia and Florida Community College in Jacksonville. His bands have appeared at many festivals and he is the only four time recipient of the honor band award for the National Adjudicators Invitational Festivals.
Dinkins has performed with the Atlanta Chamber Orchestra, the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony and the Florida Orchestra. His conducting experience includes Conductor/Music Director of the Memphis Youth Symphony, the South Carolina Youth Philharmonic and 24 years as a conductor at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee where he has conducted the Cumberland Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
Dinkins will be conducting some standards of band repertoire including Tulsa: A Symphonic Poem in Oil and Incantation and Dance. He also will introduce a new composition entitled Dancing at Stonehenge.