The 2017 American Bandmasters Association Convention has opened in Lexington, which means concert band fans have three nights of free concerts starting March 8.
Most of the convention is a members-only affair for the more than 300 group members and associate members from across North America. The association was founded by John Philip Sousa in 1929 to recognize achievements in concert bands and music for them, and encourage the growth of the form.
The concerts, which are free and open to the public, will be presented at the Singletary Center for the Arts on the University of Kentucky Campus. Unfortunately, Friday’s performance by The “President’s Own” United States Marine Band, is already sold out.
“The repertoire these groups perform will be wide-ranging, from the old traditional Sousa marches to the newest, cutting-edge pieces,” John Cody Birdwell, director of University of Kentucky Bands and organizer of the convention, said in a UKnow release. I think the thing that strikes me about the programming for ABA for each of the groups is that the programs will have a lot of variation. There will be a wide variety of pieces that the audience members will really enjoy. It’s going to be a lot of really good music.”
▪ Dobyns-Bennett High School Wind Symphony of Kingsport, Tennessee, conducted by Lafe Cook, 8 p.m. March 8.
▪ University of Kentucky Wind Symphony, conducted by John Cody Birdwell, 9:15 p.m. March 8.
▪ University of Louisville Wind Ensemble, conducted by Frederick Speck, 8 p.m. March 9.
▪ Ohio State University Wind Symphony, conducted by Russel Mikkelson, 9:15 p.m. March 9.
▪ The “President’s Own” United States Marine Band, conducted by Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig, 8 p.m. March 10 (SOLD OUT).
Follow Rich Copley on Facebook and Twitter, @copiousnotes.