Coe College Festival of Bands celebrates 25th anniversary

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2018-03-30 09:53:57 - General

The Coe College Festival of Bands will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, as more than 500 musicians of all ages from across Eastern Iowa will participate in festival concerts April 5, 14 and 15. Over the past quarter century, the Coe Festival of Bands has grown to become one of the largest non-competitive events of its kind in Iowa, with four performances featuring eight bands.

Featured ensembles performing during the event include the Coe College Concert Band, the Coe College Jazz Ensemble, the Kirkwood Community College Concert Band, the Cedar Rapids New Horizons Band, and honor bands featuring elementary, middle school and high school students. In addition, the Coe Concert Choir and Coe Percussion Ensemble will make special appearances.

Of special note, one of the world's most acclaimed saxophonists, Eugene Rousseau, will perform at the Gala Concert on Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. He will join his twin granddaughters on stage, who are graduating seniors at Coe. Claire Tollefsrud sings with the Coe Concert Choir, and Rachel Tollefsrud plays the flute for the Coe Concert Band. As a fundraiser to support the Concert Band, Rousseau will have a selection of his CDs available for sale following the concert.

Guest conductor and composter Ed Huckeby will be making his second appearance at the Festival of Bands. Huckeby is internationally recognized as an outstanding music educator and composer, with nearly 200 works for concert and marching band. The grand finale number, "From Whom All Blessings Flow," was composed by Huckeby and will feature the Coe College Concert Choir, under the direction of Marc Falk. The choir will also perform in "Frostiana," composed by Randall Thompson and inspired by the poetry of Robert Frost.

In addition, the concert will feature "Music for Prague 1968" by Czech-born composer Karel Husa, written shortly after the Soviet Union crushed the Prague Spring reform movement in Czechoslovakia 50 years ago.

Tickets to the Festival of Bands concerts may be purchased at the door, online at coe.edu/boxoffice, or by calling the Coe College Box Office at 319-399-8600, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The specific Festival of Bands events are as follows:

Thursday, April 5 –The Cedar Rapids New Horizons Band and the Coe College Percussion Ensemble, both conducted by Alan Lawrence, and the Kirkwood Community College Concert Band conducted by Joe Perea, starting at 7 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

Saturday, April 14 – Elementary School Honor Band Concert at 4 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium, under the direction of guest conductor Doreen Anderson and composer/conductor Ed Huckeby. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.

This concert marks the 16th time elementary honor band students have been selected to perform at Coe College. 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 14 – Festival of Bands Gala Concert featuring the Coe College Concert Band directed by William Carson, with guest composer/conductor Ed Huckeby, and guest artist and acclaimed saxophonist Eugene Rousseau, at 7 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.

Sunday, April 15 – Coe College Junior Honor Band conducted by Steve Shanley, and Coe College Senior Honor Band directed by William Carson, with special guest composer/conductor Ed Huckeby, 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.

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

Guest composer/conductor Ed Huckeby

Guest composer/conductor Ed Huckeby
Guest composer/conductor Ed Huckeby

Ed Huckeby is an arts consultant and freelance composer, arranger, conductor and clinician. His career has included roles in higher education and arts administration, most recently serving as president of Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Oklahoma, until his retirement in 2014. Huckeby also served as an arts administrator for Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Inc., and holds the title of Emeritus Professor of Music at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where he served for more than two decades as Music Department Chairman and Dean of the Graduate School.

He spent eight years teaching instrumental music in the public schools of Oklahoma, where his marching, concert and jazz bands won state and regional acclaim. His success in the public schools led him into the college ranks where he became internationally recognized as an outstanding music educator and composer of nearly 200 published works for concert and marching band.

Huckeby's ability to write interesting and accessible instrumental music can be attributed to his experience at a variety of musical levels. Huckeby's outstanding contributions to the concert and marching band literature have played an important role in the development of contemporary band repertoire.

Huckeby holds a bachelor's degree in music education from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, a master's degree in music education from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in administration from Oklahoma State University, with additional study at the University of North Texas.

Guest artist and acclaimed saxophonist Eugene Rousseau

Guest artist and acclaimed saxophonist Eugene Rousseau
Guest artist and acclaimed saxophonist Eugene Rousseau

Eugene Rousseau has performed on five continents since his Carnegie Hall debut. Acclaimed by critics all over the world, Rousseau's artistry has inspired many firsts.  He gave the first solo saxophone recitals in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, London and Amsterdam, and he has premiered numerous works written for him.

Rousseau has appeared with many leading orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pan-American Festival Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the BBC Orchestra in London, the Prague Symphony and the Santiago Philharmonic, among many others. Rousseau's service to the saxophone community is of long standing. Since 1972, he has been a chief consultant for Yamaha Corporation's saxophone research, contributing to the development of acoustic improvements in saxophones and mouthpieces.

In May 1998, Rousseau was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Iowa, where he earned his Ph.D. He holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Music at Indiana University, where he served on the faculty from 1964-2000. He joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Music in 2000.

For more information on the Coe College Festival of Bands, call 319-399-8521.