Symphony band to perform in regional band conference in February

Victoria Cirilli

Staff Writer

Troy’s Symphony Band has been chosen to perform at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Southern Division Conference on Feb. 22, 2018, at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.

The Symphony Band was one of six bands in the region chosen by “blind audition,” which is based on a panel of judiciaries made up of band directors in the CBDNA, who listened to submitted CDs of bands across Troy’s region without knowledge of which bands they were listening to.

Mark Walker, director of bands, said that six university bands, two each day, will perform from Thursday, Feb. 22, to Saturday, Feb. 24.

“We are in the featured spot on the opening night concert,” Walker said.

The band plans to make this trip to Tampa a recruitment trip, stopping at high schools on the way there and on the way back to perform concerts for high school students and talk to bands about the good qualities Troy University and its band and music programs offer.

According to Walker, Troy was selected along with five other university bands from this division: Florida State, Virginia Tech, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina and Southern Mississippi.

Rad Bolt, a graduate assistant from Panama City, Florida, and a saxophonist in the symphony band, said he is excited about the conference because he helps organize and plan the trip as part of his job in the music department.

“These concerts and events are an opportunity for the band to meet a lot of interesting people in music,” Bolt said.

Bolt has worked with Walker to organize the trips to individual schools along the way to the conference. He said  the CBDNA experience is an opportunity to influence young musicians to develop their interests in the musical arts.

“I’ve been to some other conferences similar to (CBDNA), and I’ve met prestigious people, and it’s great these students get to do the same,” Bolt said regarding new symphony band members.

“This is a great experience for me, since I am not familiar with this conference, as I am not from an area where this organization is popular,” said Landon Grigsby, a junior instrumental music education major from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and trumpeter for the symphony band.

The band is currently working tirelessly for the performance in February, selecting pieces from previous shows and working on improving performance quality.

Walker, who has been involved with the College Band Directors National Association for a number of years, is proud to have Troy’s band selected to perform among top university bands in this conference.

“The professional recognition by our colleagues, as well as the student’s experience of the conference, is a really nice thing for our program,” Walker said.

At this time, the CBDNA conference has not advertised online streaming ability, so students are unable to watch the performances via the internet.

Walker plans to apply again next year for the National Conference and hopes to be invited to what would be an even greater honor. The National Conference is held every other year, between division conferences, as an assembly of all the divisions in the country.

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