Northwestern band selected to perform at Iowa Bandmasters Association conference

Symphonic bandNorthwestern College’s Symphonic Band has been selected as the state’s only small-college band to perform at the Iowa Bandmasters Association conference this coming May in Des Moines. This will mark the first time for Northwestern’s ensemble to perform at the event.

The band, conducted by Dr. Angela Holt, director of bands and instrumental music education, was chosen after submitting a recording of portions of its fall concert. The program, which focused on celebrating America and its military veterans, included a cornerstone piece in wind band literature, Morton Gould’s “Symphony for Band,” which was originally written for the West Point band.

“It was a challenging program, and the band members worked really hard,” says Holt. “I’m very proud of them for their performance and this achievement. It is an honor to receive this recognition as a high-quality ensemble. They are a group of talented musicians who have a unified vision of playing to the glory of God, and I’m really thankful for their dedication to this ensemble. I look forward to working with them this semester to prepare our hourlong repertoire for the conference.

“I am truly grateful to Professor Karen Barker [dean of arts and humanities] and Dr. Thomas Holm [music department chair] as well as our Northwestern administrators who have provided such encouraging support for this opportunity,” says Holt. 

The 54-member Symphonic Band performs a wide variety of repertoire, from newly composed works to wind band standards. In addition, it has commissioned and premiered works by leading American composers and performed with professional guest soloists and conductors. The band has toured throughout the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe, and Central and South America.

Holt joined Northwestern’s faculty this fall after serving as the associate director of wind studies and instructor at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She previously directed bands at the College of William and Mary in Virginia and a high school in Texas. She earned doctoral and master’s degrees in instrumental conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Wheaton College.