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Colorado State University Pueblo to host the 15th annual Festival of Winds February 9-11, 2023

Release Date: February 07, 2023

Gena Alfonso

Director of Communications/PIO

Marketing, Communications, Community Relations

(719) 671-0929

Pueblo - The 15th annual Festival of Winds returns to campus February 9 for the largest wind and honor band event in Colorado. The festival is an immersive three-day experience for over 350 high school students throughout the state. The students are accepted to the festival by invitation only. Band directors in Colorado can nominate up to 15 students to attend, with a minimum of two participants guaranteed placement. A total of 46 high schools will be represented at the 2023 festival.

“The highly-accomplished faculty in our music department have established our university as a leader in music education and performance not only in the state, but across the Southwestern United States,” CSU Pueblo President Dr. Timothy Mottet said. “The department is able to recruit top-tier students and provide opportunities for all majors to engage with the marching band, wind ensembles, choral groups and major events like Festival of Winds. Music brings people together in a way that no other medium can and enhances the total student experience. Non-majors who participate in opportunities within the music department are able to draw from their experiences and bring inspiration to other majors.” 

Students spend the first day of the festival participating in auditions to determine final band and chair placements. Aspiring musicians also participate in master classes and small group rehearsals with CSU Pueblo’s instrumental faculty. Band directors attending the festival also participate in master classes, meet the composer sessions, and are able to earn graduate credits through CSU Pueblo’s division of Extended Studies. The event culminates on Saturday night featuring performances from two wind orchestras and two symphonic bands. 

“Festival of Winds is an opportunity to showcase our campus and highlight all that our campus has to offer to prospective students,” Vice President of Enrollment Management and Extended Studies Dr. Kristyn White Davis said. “We are excited to host over 300 students, their families and respective band directors to campus and share our passion for music and show them what they can accomplish by pursuing their higher-education dream at CSU Pueblo.” 

The line-up of honor band conductors who will direct the two wind orchestras and the two symphonic bands include Dr. Emily Moss, Dr. Douglas Stotter, Dr. Lauren Reynolds and Dr. Karen Gregg.  Dr. Moss serves as the director of bands at California State University in Los Angeles where she conducts the wind ensemble and symphonic band. Dr. Stotter is the director of bands at the University of Texas at Arlington and conducts the wind symphony and teaches conducting and wind literature courses. Dr. Reynolds is an associate professor of music and director of concert bands at the University of Delaware School of Music where she conducts the University of Delaware Wind Ensemble. Dr. Gregg has served as the director of bands at Lyons Middle Senior High School for two decades. She has directed four bands at the school, including two middle school bands, High School Concert Band and the HIgh School Jazz Band. 

Participants and the public are invited to attend performances throughout the festival. Thursday night’s performance features the Fourth Infantry Division Band commanded by Chief Warrant Officer II Michael J. Becker. The concert begins at 5 p.m. at Hoag Hall. 

“Festival of Winds started with one honor band in 2009, and now it has grown into one of the largest events for high school music students and band directors in Colorado,” Festival Founder and Director Dr. Alan Mills said. “We are proud to provide an opportunity for musicians to gather together, learn from each other, and celebrate our respective appreciation and admiration for music.”

Dr. Alan Mills will conduct the Director’s Band performance on Friday at 10:15 a.m and the CSU Pueblo Wind Ensemble’s world-premiere of “Message from Arecibo,” by James M. David on Saturday at 10:45 a.m., both performances will be at Hoag Hall. David is the festival’s composer-in-residence and an internationally recognized composer who serves as a professor of music composition at Colorado State University at Fort Collins. 

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the Honor Band Finale concert at Memorial Hall on Saturday, February 11 at 4 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults. Children under the age of five may attend at no cost. 

About the Composer-in-Residence

Dr. James M. David is particularly known for his works involving winds and percussion.  His symphonic works for winds have been performed by some of the nation’s most prominent professional and university ensembles including the U.S. Air Force Band, the U.S. Army Field Band, the Dallas Winds, the Des Moines Symphony, the Showa Wind Symphony (Japan), and the North Texas Wind Symphony among many others.  His compositions have been presented at more than fifty national and international conferences throughout North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia.  These events include the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the American Bandmasters Association Convention, the College Band Directors National Association Conferences, the College Music Society National Conference, the Society of Composers, Inc. National Conference, seven International Clarinet Fests, the International Horn Symposium, the World Saxophone Congress, the International Trombone Festival, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Among the distinctions David has earned as a composer are an ASCAP Morton Gould Award, the National Band Association Merrill Jones Award, national first-place winner in the MTNA Young Artists Composition Competition, two Global Music Awards, and national first-place winner in the National Association of Composers (USA) Young Composers Competition. Commissions include projects for Joseph Alessi (New York Philharmonic), John Bruce Yeh (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Zachary Shemon (Prism Quartet), the Aries Trombone Quartet, BlueShift Percussion Quartet, Gerry Pagano (St. Louis Symphony), The Playground Ensemble, the National Band Association, and the Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors Association.

As a native of southern Georgia, Dr. David began his musical training under his father Joe A. David, III, a renowned high school band director and professor of music education in the region.  This lineage can be heard in his music through the strong influence of jazz and other Southern traditional music mixed with contemporary idioms.  He graduated with honors from the University of Georgia and completed his doctorate in composition at Florida State University under Guggenheim and Pulitzer recipients Ladislav Kubik and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.  His music is available through Murphy Music Press, C. Alan Publications, Wingert Jones Publications, and Potenza Music and has been recorded for the Naxos, Mark, GIA WindWorks, Albany, Summit, Luminescence, and MSR Classics labels.

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