Coe College Festival of Bands concerts set for April 16-19

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2015-04-02 15:28:12 - General

Robert Sheldon
Robert Sheldon

This year's Coe College Festival of Bands concerts will feature more than 500 musicians of all ages from across Eastern Iowa, April 16-19. With four performances featuring eight bands, the Coe Festival of Bands has grown to become one of the largest non-competitive events of its kind in Iowa.

Featured ensembles performing during the event include the Coe College Concert Band, the Coe College Jazz Ensemble, the Kirkwood Community College Concert Band, the New Horizons Band, and honor bands featuring elementary, middle school and high school students.

Fulfilling the role of guest composter/conductor is Robert Sheldon, one of the most performed composers of wind band music today. A recipient of numerous awards from the American School Band Director's Association, Phi Beta Mu, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, his compositions embody a level of expression that resonates with ensembles and audiences alike. His music is performed around the world and appears on many international concert and contest lists. Sheldon regularly accepts commissions for new works, and produces numerous publications for concert band and orchestra each year.

Sheldon's schedule includes many appearances as guest conductor for all-state and regional honor bands. He also frequently appears as a music education clinician, and has presented sessions and seminars at numerous colleges and universities as well as state music education association conferences. Sheldon has served as a conductor and clinician throughout the United States, as well as Japan, Canada, Italy, Australia and China. He has conducted performances of his works in New York's Carnegie Hall, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall, Taipei's National Concert Hall, Matsumoto'sĀ Seiji Ozawa Performing Arts CenterĀ and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Sheldon is currently concert band editor for Alfred Music Publishing.

The specific Festival of Bands events are as follows:

Thursday, April 16 - Kirkwood Community College Concert Band conducted by Beth Zamzow and the New Horizons Band directed by Alan Lawrence, at 7 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

Saturday, April 18 - Elementary School Honor Band Concert at 4 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium, with guest composer/conductor Robert Shelton and guest conductor Mary Bunn. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors, and they are available at the door.

This concert marks the 13th time elementary honor band students have been selected to perform at Coe College, making it a unique event in the state. Students in grades four through six will be playing in two separate bands, which are designated as the Coe College Crimson Elementary Honor Band and the Coe College Gold Elementary Honor Band.

Saturday, April 18 - Festival of Bands Gala Concert featuring the Coe College Concert Band directed by William Carson, with guest composer/conductor Robert Shelton, at 8 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors, and they are available at the door.

Sheldon will join the Coe College Concert Band as a guest conductor for several compositions published by Alfred Music, including one of his own works. Featured soloists include graduating seniors Rachel Kingham (flute) and Lindsay Meade (piccolo). A former member of the flute section, Coe alumnus G. Oakley Lyon, has composed a work entitled "Journey to the Firebird," which will receive its Iowa premiere alongside selections from Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite."

Sunday, April 19 - Coe College Junior Honor Band conducted by Steve Shanley, and Coe College Senior Honor Band directed by William Carson, with special guest composer/conductor Robert Shelton, at 4 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. In addition, the Coe College Jazz Ensemble will perform, under the direction of Steve Shanley. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors, and they are available at the door.

For more information on Festival of Bands events, contact the Coe Music Department at 319-399-8521.