Wind Ensemble first North Dakota band to play Western International Band Clinic


David L. Dodds

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Wind Ensemble first North Dakota band to play Western International Band Clinic

For the first time ever, a University of North Dakota band has performed at the prestigious Western International Band Clinic (WIBC), an annual music conference held in Seattle.

The UND Wind Ensemble, conducted by James Popejoy, UND professor of music and director of bands, presented a featured performance at the 2012 WIBC event on Nov. 17. The band also featured Robert Brooks, UND associate director of bands, a guest conductor in the performance.

"The selection of the UND Wind Ensemble to perform at the WIBC was a unique and singular honor for our students and the department of music," Popejoy said.

The Ensemble was selected through an auditioned juried process, and spent hours this semester rehearsing and preparing for their WIBC concert.

"The Wind Ensemble presented an outstanding performance and received wonderful comments from the audience," Popejoy said. "They represented our university and region in stellar fashion. The experience of presenting a performance at this prestigious conference provided for outstanding music educational opportunities and growth for all involved."

Flag Ceremony

Numerous flags fly at each WIBC conference. The flags represent ensembles and conductors from the many states and countries that have had the honor to perform at the conference. Because the UND Wind Ensemble was the first from North Dakota to earn this honor, WIBC held its traditional flag ceremony during the concert, at which time, Dr. Popejoy presented the state flag to their executive board. The North Dakota flag will be flown with the other flags accumulated throughout the years at all future conferences.

Now in its 34th year, the Western International Band Clinic is a non-profit corporation serving bands, directors and their students worldwide through the publication of teaching materials, a master's degree program and an annual conference.

About the Wind Ensemble

The UND Wind Ensemble consists of outstanding wind and percussion students selected by audition each fall. Under the direction of Popejoy, the Wind Ensemble has performed at the 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2011 North Dakota Music Educators Association Conferences; the 2002 Inaugural North Dakota Arts & Humanities Summit; the 2006 College Band Directors National Association North Central Division Conference, and the 2012 Western International Band Clinic.

The Wind Ensemble annually performs with internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists, and has premiered new works for winds and percussion. They tour regularly and have established a reputation for musical excellence through appearances around the world.

The UND Wind Ensemble will present several performances this coming spring semester, including concerts March 5 and April 22 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium, as well as at UND's spring commencement ceremony May 11 at the Alerus Center.

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