WMU News

Guest artist Andrew Boysen Jr headlines conference

March 18, 2005

KALAMAZOO--On Friday, April 1, the School of Music at Western Michigan University presents the 37th annual Spring Conference on Wind and Percussion Music, with guest artist, composer Andrew Boysen Jr.

The conference is a day-long event to "promote the performance, understanding, and composition of quality wind and percussion music." The event is free and is open to music educators, high school and college students, parents, and anyone interested in band music.

The day's activities include two afternoon band concerts in Miller Auditorium--the Otsego (Mich.) High School Symphonic Band, conducted by Brent V. Morrisson and Mitchell R. Piersma, at 1 p.m. and the WMU Concert Band, conducted by David W. Montgomery, director of the Bronco Marching Band at 2:45 p.m.

The conference concludes with an evening performance at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Auditorium. The concert will feature performances by the University Symphonic Band, conducted by Robert L. Spradling, director of bands, and the 120-member Andrew Boysen All-Star Band. Students from more than 60 Michigan high schools have been nominated by their band directors for the honor of performing in the All-Star Band. About 90 percent of the ensemble's membership is made up of musicians who hold first-chair-player positions in their own high school bands.

Guest composer-conductor Boysen earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting at the Eastman School of Music, where he served as conductor of the Eastman Wind Orchestra and assistant conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. His Master of Music degree in wind conducting is from Northwestern University and his Bachelor of Music degree in music education and music composition is from the University of Iowa.

Boysen's background in education includes public school work as director of bands for Cary-Grove High School in Illinois, and was also music director and conductor of the Deerfield Community Concert Band. He has served as acting associate director of bands at Indiana State University, where he directed both the symphonic band and marching band and also taught courses in music education. He is currently on the music faculty at the University of New Hampshire, where he conducts the wind symphony and teaches conducting.

As a composer, Boysen has been awarded commissions from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, the Iowa All-State Band, the Rhode Island All-State Band, the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association, the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association, and numerous university and high school concert bands across the United States. He won the International Horn Society Composition Contest in 2000, the University of Iowa Honors Composition Prize in 1991 and the Claude T. Smith Memorial Band Composition Contest, in 1991 for "I Am" and again in 1994 for "Ovations." His works are published by Neil A. Kjos, Wingert-Jones, and Ludwig Music, including pieces for band, orchestra, clarinet and piano, and brass choir. Recordings of his music appear on the Sony, R-Kal, Mark, St. Olaf, and Elf labels.

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

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