Pacific Northwest Band Festival Clinicians

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Frank L. Battisti

Mr. Battisti is Conductor Emeritus of the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble. Mr. Battisti founded and conducted the ensemble for 30 years from 1969-1999. The NEC Wind Ensemble is recognized as being one of the premiere ensembles of its kind in the United States and throughout the world. It has performed often at music conferences, recorded for Centaur, Albany and Golden Crest records and had many of its performances broadcast over the National Public Radio Network (NPR).

He has been responsible for commissioning and premiering over 50 works for wind ensemble by distinguished American and foreign composers including Warren Benson, Leslie Bassett, Robert Ceely, John Harbison, Robin Holloway, Witold Lutoslawski, William Thomas McKinley, Vincent Persichetti, Michael Colgrass, Daniel Pinkham, Gunther Schuller, Robert Selig, Ivan Tcheripnin, Sir Michael Tippett, William Kraft, Robert Ward and Alec Wilder. Critics, composers and colleagues have praised Battisti for his commitment to contemporary music and his outstanding performances.

Battisti often appears as a guest conductor with many university, college, military, professional and high school bands and wind ensembles as well as a guest conductor/clinician and teacher throughout the United States, England, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Scandinavia, Australia, China, Taiwan, Canada, South America, South Korea, Iceland and the former U.S.S.R. Recently he has appeared as a guest conductor with the New World Symphony Orchestra, U. S. Marine Band and the Interlochen Arts Academy Band.

Past President of the U.S. College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), Battisti is also a member of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA) and founder of the National Wind Ensemble Conference, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble (MYWE) and New England College Band Association (NECBA). Battisti has served on the Standard Award Panel of American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and been a member of the Music Panel for the Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS) for the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts.

For many years he served as editor for various music publishing companies and is currently a consulting editor for The Instrumentalist magazine. Battisti constantly contributes articles on wind ensemble/band literature, conducting and music education to professional journals and magazines and is considered one of the foremost authorities in the world on wind music literature. He is the co-author of Score Study for the Wind Band Conductor (1990) and author of The 20th Centu!y American Wind Band/Ensemble (1995) and The Winds of Change (2002). In 1986 and again in 1993, Mr. Battisti was a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, England.

He has received many awards and honors including an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Ithaca College in 1992, the first Louis and Adrienne Krasner Excellence in Teaching Award from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1997, the Lowell Mason Award from the Massachusetts Music Educators Association in 1998, the New England College Band Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic's Medal of Honor in 2001. In 2000, he was appointed the inaugural conductor of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artist Wind Ensemble. The following year, the institute established the "Frank L. Battisti Tangelwood Institute Conducting Residency," which is awarded each summer to a talented young wind ensemble conductor. Under Battisti's guidance the recipient participates in the Institute's Young Artists Wind Ensemble program as a conducting assistant and chamber coach. Each season the YAWE rehearses on the Tanglewood grounds, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, performing their concerts in Ozawa Hall.

H. Robert Reynolds

H. Robert Reynolds is the Principal Conductor of the Wind Ensemble at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California where he holds the H. Robert Reynolds Professorship in Wind Conducting. This appointment followed his retirement, after 26 years, from the School of Music of the University of Michigan where he served as the Henry F. Thurnau Professor of Music, Director of University Bands and Director of the Division of Instrumental Studies. In addition to these responsibilities, he has also been, for over 35 years, the conductor of The Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, which is made up primarily of members from the Detroit Symphony.

Robert Reynolds has conducted recordings for Koch International, Pro Arte, Caprice, and Deutsche Grammophon. In the United States, he has conducted at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center (New York), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Kennedy Center (Washington, D. C.), Powell Symphony Hall (St. Louis), Academy of Music (Philadelphia), Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), and Tanglewood. In Europe, he conducted the premiere of an opera for La Scala Opera (Milan, Italy), and concerts at the prestigious Maggio Musicale (Florence, Italy), the Tonhalle (Zurich, Switzerland), and at the Holland Festival in the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, Holland), as well as the 750th Anniversary of the City of Berlin. He has won the praise of composers: Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, Henryk Gorecki, Karel Husa, Gyorgy Ligeti, Darius Milhaud, Bernard Rands, Gunther Schuller, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and many others for his interpretive conducting of their compositions.

Robert Reynolds has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Duquesne University, and in addition, holds degrees in Music Education and Performance from the University of Michigan where he was the conducting student of Elizabeth Green. He began his career in the public schools of Michigan and California before beginning his university conducting at California State University at Long Beach and the University of Wisconsin prior to his tenure at the University of Michigan. He received the Citation of Merit from the Music Alumni Association of the University of Michigan for his contributions to the many students he has influenced during his career and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Band Alumni Association. He is also an Honorary Life Member of the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association.

Professor Reynolds was Past President and the very first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Band Directors’ National Association as well as being Past President of the Big Ten Band Directors’ Association. He has received the highest national awards from Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Mu, the National Band Association, and the American School Band Directors’ Association, and he was awarded the “Medal of Honor” by the International Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic. He is the recipient of a “Special Tribute” from the State of Michigan, and he was a member of the National Awards Panel for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for over 10 years and in 2001 received a national award from this organization for his contributions to contemporary American music. He is also listed in the New Groves Dictionary of American Music, and his frequent conducting appearances have included the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, as well as the Wind Ensemble at the Tanglewood Institute.

Robert Reynolds has been a featured conductor and lecturer at international conferences in Austria, Australia, Norway, Belgium, England, Holland, Slovenia, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland. He has conducted in many of the major cities of Japan, Spain, and Sweden including concerts with the Stockholm Wind Orchestra, the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra and professional wind ensembles in Bilbao and Barcelona, Spain. Many of his former students now hold major conducting positions at leading conservatories and universities, and several have been National Presidents of CBDNA.

Dr. Erin Bodnar

Erin Bodnar joins the faculty at the University of North Florida this year as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands where she will conduct the Wind Symphony and Concert Band, instruct courses in conducting and coordinate the UNF Conducting Symposium.Prior to her appointment at UNF, Dr. Bodnar was Director of Bands at Graceland University for four years during which time the Symphonic Band performed at the Iowa Bandmasters Association conference. During 2013-2014, Dr. Bodnar was the conductor of the Wind Symphony and Orchestra at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.  Her primary conducting teachers were Timothy Salzman, Eugene Corporon, Dennis Fisher and Gerald King and she has participated in conducting workshops across the United States as well as in Ukraine and Costa Rica. Dr. Bodnar maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician, traveling to Thailand, Indonesia, and throughout the United States and Canada.

Dr. Bodnar has contributed to A Composer's Insight: Thoughts, Analysis and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band, Volume 5, the GIA Teaching Music Through Performance Seriesfor Volume 7 and the revised Volume 1. She excelled at teaching both middle and high school band in Alberta, Canada for which she received the Keith Mann Young Band Director’s Award and the Edwin Parr First Year Teacher Award.  Dr. Bodnar has presented at conferences in Canada, the United States, Scotland, Thailand and Austria.  Her research interests include conducting pedagogy and motor cognition, and her articles have been published in the Journal of Music Teacher Education and Music Perception.

Robert Ambrose

Conductor Robert J. Ambrose enjoys a highly successful and diverse career as a dynamic and engaging musician. His musical interests cross many genres and can be seen in the wide range of professional activities he pursues. Dr. Ambrose studied formally at Boston College, Boston University and Northwestern University, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting.

Dr. Ambrose has conducted professionally across the United States as well as in Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. His interpretations have earned the enthusiastic praise of many leading composers including Pulitzer Prize winners Leslie Bassett, Michael Colgrass and John Harbison. He has conducted over two dozen premiere performances including works by Michael Colgrass, Jonathan Newman, Joel Puckett, Christopher Theofanidis and Joseph Turrin. Dr. Ambrose has conducted Arnold Schoenberg's landmark piece Pierrot Lunaire several times in three different countries and a recent performance of Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms under his direction has been given repeated airings on Georgia Public Radio. 

Dr. Ambrose is founder and music director of the Atlanta Chamber Winds a professional dectet specializing in the promotion of music by emerging composers as well as lesser-known works of established composers. Their premiere compact disc, Music from Paris, was released in 2009 on the Albany Records label and has received outstanding reviews in both Fanfareand Gramophone magazines. 

As a guitarist, Robert Ambrose has performed in dozens of jazz ensembles, combos, rock bands and pit orchestras. His rock band "Hoochie Suit," formed with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, received rave reviews throughout the Chicago area and performed for such distinguished guests as Yo-Yo Ma and Daniel Barenboim. 

Dr. Ambrose currently serves as director of bands, associate professor of music and associate director of the School of Music at Georgia State University, a Research I institution of 32,000 students located in Atlanta, Georgia. As director of bands he conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, maintains a highly selective studio of graduate students in the Master of Music in wind band conducting degree program, and oversees a large, comprehensive band program comprised of four concert ensembles and three athletic bands. 

Robert Ambrose lives in Peachtree City, Georgia with his wife Sarah Kruser Ambrose, a professional flute player, and daughters Isabelle and Hannah. 

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