UofL Wind Ensemble 2015 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles International Conference San Jose, CA


During July 2015, the University of Louisville Wind Ensemble, directed by Frederick Speck, was featured in performance at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles International Conference in San Jose, California. Ensembles invited to perform at the WASBE Conference were selected based on the decisions of an international jury, through the review process of evaluating recordings of recent live concert performances. Along with Speck, Amy Acklin, Associate Director of Bands, also conducted, and Professor of Saxophone, Adam McCord appeared at concerto soloist.
The audience at the California Theatre in San Jose was comprised of a veritable international “who’s who” of wind conductors. Reflecting on the University of Louisville performance, the new WASBE president, William Johnson wrote, “I know that I speak for the large crowd in attendance when I tell you that your performance was nothing short of stunning as evidenced by the tremendous ovation you received. The sonorous grandeur with which your ensemble displayed the Broughton, the sensitivity of the Dean and the Ticheli, and the whirlwind of color and brilliance you achieved in the Mackey was incredible. Personally I was very moved, not only by the magnificent musical product your group created, but also the great love and integrity you demonstrated in its preparation. We all relish those moments when music opens the heart and exposes the soul.”

Adam McCord, led off the second half of the concert with an amazing performance of Frank Ticheli’s new Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble. Not surprisingly, Mr. Ticheli, was thrilled with Adam’s performance. He wrote, “I want to thank you again and again for the extraordinary performance you and your ensemble gave of my saxophone concerto with Adam McCord… at once powerful and beautiful, and so freewheeling and dramatic in the outer movements. And I also loved the beauty of sound Adam was able to achieve in the middle movement. Best of all, I felt that you really GET the piece, and showed it from start to finish.”

Beyond the featured concert performance, the Wind Ensemble had another significant presence at the conference, performing for two days as ensemble-in-residence for the International Conducting Masterclass which was led by Portuguese conductor, Maestro Alberto Roque. The five experienced conductors who participated in the masterclass conducted the ensemble on works by Holst, Hindemith, Badings, and Azevedo. In addition, Professor McCord presented a saxophone masterclass and Dr. Speck participated on a conductors’ roundtable with Jerry Junkin, Alberto Roque, Glenn Price and Eugene Corporon.