WMU News

University bands honor founder Leonard Meretta

Nov. 11, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's Symphonic and Concert Bands will join to honor Director of Bands Emeritus Leonard Meretta at a Nov. 24 concert in Miller Auditorium. "A Tribute to Leonard Meretta" begins at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

For the concert, Meretta has selected from among his favorite compositions by Paul Hindemith, Karel Husa, and Howard Hanson. An arrangement by Meretta also will be featured.

Meretta is credited with establishing the bands program at WMU in 1945. After leading the program for 27 years, he stepped down as director of bands in 1972. Meretta continued as a full-time member of the music faculty, teaching trumpet until his retirement in 1981. He is also credited with staging the state's first college football high school band day in 1946.

Guest Conductor Timothy Reynish, conductor emeritus of the Royal Northern Conservatory of Music in Manchester, England, and current president of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles will conclude a week of rehearsals and classes by leading both ensembles as a part of this special event.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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