OU Wind Symphony Receives Two Prestigious Performance Invitations

OU Wind Symphony Receives Two Prestigious Performance Invitations
Oakland University Wind Symphony performing on a stage
Oakland University Wind Symphony

The Wind Symphony is Oakland University’s premier wind band. Its undergraduate and graduate student musicians are selected annually through competitive audition. Under the direction of Dr. Gregory Cunningham, director of bands, the Wind Symphony always maintains an active concert schedule both on and off campus, but next year will bring particularly exciting opportunities.

“The exceptional work done on a daily basis by the students of the Oakland University wind, brass and percussion areas has been recognized,” said Dr Cunningham, “both from within the state of Michigan and beyond, with the receipt of two prestigious performance invitations in early 2018.”

The Wind Symphony has been invited to close the Michigan Music Conference's Thursday evening Collegiate Concert at DeVos Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan on January 25, 2018.

Then, at the North Central Conference of the College Band Directors National Association, the OU Wind Symphony will perform as one of only eight select university wind bands at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan from February 22-24, 2018. The North Central Region includes college bands from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“Both invitations were extended through a competitive blind review of live unedited performance recordings from last year,” said Dr Cunningham. "I am delighted to have these two prestigious opportunities to showcase Oakland University's premier concert band on both the regional and national stage.”

The eight bands playing at the 2018 College Band Directors’ National Association North Central Region Conference in February are Oakland University Wind Symphony, Gregory Cunningham, conductor; University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Wind Ensemble, Tom Seddon, conductor; University of Michigan Concert Band, Courtney Snyder, conductor; Miami University Wind Ensemble, Gary Speck, conductor; Kent State University Wind Ensemble, Jesse Leyva, conductor; and Indiana University Symphonic Band, Eric Smedley, conductor.

The Eastern Michigan University Choir will also perform at the Thursday evening concert at January’s Michigan Music Conference. The conference is focused on music education, so the audience for the concert will be filled with Michigan teachers and All State musicians. The 2016 conference attendance included approximately 9,000 teachers, administrators and students.

Dr Cunningham said the Wind Symphony have performed at the state music conference once before, but this is their first invitation from the College Band Directors National Association. “I am so proud of the students with whom I work,” he said, “and am eager to open even more eyes to the level of musicianship our student musicians possess."

Former members of the Oakland University Wind Symphony have gone on to pursue graduate study at such schools as the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Cambridge (England), Carnegie Mellon University, Rutgers, Southern Methodist University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Indiana University, Bowling Green State University, University of Kansas, Shenandoah Conservatory, Western Michigan University, New Mexico State University and Northwestern State University (LA). Others are active music educators throughout the United States with positions at the elementary, secondary and collegiate levels.