UAB Wind Symphony chosen to perform at regional College Band Directors conference

Four new pieces of music were written for the UAB Wind Symphony to perform; three will have their world premieres at a free preview concert Feb. 25.

Wind Symphony streamThe University of Alabama at Birmingham Wind Symphony has been selected to perform for the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division 2024 Conference.

Performing bands are chosen through anonymous submission peer review, based solely on their audio. This is the second time UAB has been selected to perform for this conference; the first was in 2008.

The conference, Feb. 29-March 2 at the University of Memphis, will run in congress with the National Band Association, another national organization for bands that includes high schools and middle schools. 

The 70-member UAB Wind Symphony, in the UAB College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Music, is led by Associate Professor Sean P. Murray, Ph.D.

Being selected to perform is an honor and privilege, Murray says.

“It’s a huge deal for us, a huge deal for any college band to be selected,” Murray said. “It’s not a given. There are bands who have performed multiple times, and there are some college groups who have never been selected to perform.”

As part of this concert, three new pieces of music were written for the UAB Wind Symphony to perform. This extraordinary opportunity will elevate students’ musicianship and shine a spotlight on the exceptional teaching and artistry of faculty and students at UAB, Murray says.

Family and friends in Birmingham will have a chance to hear the band perform their program before they depart for Memphis. The UAB Wind Symphony preview concert is free and set for 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

Three of those works will have their world premieres at the Feb. 25 concert at UAB. On the program are “Message from Arecibo” by James David, “Playalisticstagemusik” by Marie Douglas, “Death and Disfigurations” by Scott McAllister, and “Organized Chaos” by Etienne Charles. 

Donations for travel and accommodations are being accepted to help offset the cost for this unexpected expense, Murray says. Donate online.

UAB Wind Symphony is one of the few groups participating that is all undergraduate students, and features both music majors and non-music majors, Murray says.

“We have students who are biomedical engineers and are also really experienced musicians, and they make a part of this group,” he said.

UAB is not the only Alabama band invited to perform — Troy University Symphony Band was also selected. Other bands invited to perform include Louisiana State University Symphonic Winds, University of South Carolina Symphonic Winds, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Wind Ensemble, West Virginia University Wind Symphony and the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble.