I stood up in front of them without a prepared speech; it was improv. Those in the room were some of the most celebrated professionals in the conducting arts, and I was their biggest fan. Their ensembles routinely performed the most challenging wind band literature, with the utmost perfection; a testament to their podium talents. I, on the other hand, had never held a baton, nor had I had any formal conducting training. Even so, they invited me into their inner circle, as a partner. Perhaps they expected a polished, confident, ready-for-NPR segment. Instead, they heard me say, in a halting voice, that they were, simply, my heroes.
Redline Tango John Mackey Oklahoma State Wind Ensemble, Joseph Missal Songs for Wind Ensemble Yo Goto Messiah College Wind Ensemble, Bradley Genevro Only Light Aaron Perrine University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, Paul Popiel Circular Marches Dan Welcher US Air Force Band, Lowell Graham Mutanza James Curnow Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Liam Daly Intrada and March from “Symphonic Suite” Clifton Williams North Texas Wind Symphony, Eugene Migliaro Corporon