(Posted November 15, 2021)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. — Juniata College will host a weekend micro-conference for band directors and students, “There’s Small and Then There’s SMALLLL,” which will culminate in a concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, in Rosenberger Auditorium on the Juniata campus.

 The micro-conference is geared toward directors and students at smaller colleges as well as those high school students who will one day become college band members. This two-day event is sponsored by the College Band Directors’ National Association (CBDNA).

The Altoona Area High School Wind Ensemble, Towson University Wind Ensemble, and a combination of high school and college wind bands will perform and the event is free and open to the public.           Altoona’s wind ensemble, conducted by long-time director Larry Detwiler, will open the program with a performance of "Seventeen Come Sunday" from the Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams, followed by Frank Ticheli’s “Amazing Grace,” and the first movement of “Balkanya” by Jan van der Roost.

The weekend’s festival band, which is made up of students from Juniata College, Lock Haven University, Penn State Behrend, Juniata Valley High School, and Mount Union Area High School, will perform selections from the two suites for band by Gustav Holst. While audiences may be more familiar with Holst’s epic work, “The Planets,” for orchestra, the two Holst suites represent some of the earliest works written specifically for the current instrumentation of full wind bands. Each movement of the suites will be conducted by one of the participating ensemble’s directors, James Latten from Juniata College, Gary Viebranz from Penn State Behrend, Mahlon Grass from Lock Haven University, Virginia Stattel from Juniata Valley Area High School, and Arista Barnoff from Mount Union Area High School. The Towson University Wind Ensemble, conducted by Christopher Cicconi, was selected for this event through an application and audition process through the CBDNA. Cicconi will lead the ensemble in works to include the world premiere of “Carpe Diem” by Jonathan Leshnoff, “One Life Beautiful” by Julie Giroux, “A Mother of a Revolution” by Omar Thomas, Steve Danyew’s “Magnolia Star,” “American Elegy” by Frank Ticheli, and the second movement of Chen Yi’s “Dragon Rhyme.”

One of the many goals of the event is to address the benefits of playing a musical instrument and participating in high school and college bands. Before the concert’s intermission, members of the audience will be invited to share their experiences in band and the impact it made on their life. 

In addition to the concert, college band directors in attendance will have the opportunity to take part in sessions on arranging, repertoire, management, and administration led by James Spinazzola, band director at Cornell University; Charles Peltz, past president of CBDNA and director of wind band studies at New England Conservatory; and John Obringer and Christopher DeVona, graduate students in wind band conducting from West Chester University.

For further information, please contact James Latten, director of instrumental music at (814)641-3471 or latten@juniata.edu.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.