Closing a Conference

Anna Gilpatrick and Noah Brenneman step off the bus on the way to Arizona. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Anna Gilpatrick and Noah Brenneman step off the bus on the way to Arizona. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

(From left) Francisco Cisneros, Royce Files, Edgar Melendez, Isaac Raven at a rehearsal at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

(From left) Francisco Cisneros, Royce Files, Edgar Melendez, Isaac Raven at a rehearsal at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

H. Robert Reynolds leads a rehearsal at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

H. Robert Reynolds leads a rehearsal at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Anna Gilpatrick at a rehearsal at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Anna Gilpatrick at a rehearsal at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Mary Labanc at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Mary Labanc at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

USC Thornton clarinetists at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

USC Thornton clarinetists at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

(From left) Ryan Stransky, Remy Gilboe and Cameron Wilkins at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

(From left) Ryan Stransky, Remy Gilboe and Cameron Wilkins at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Frank Ticheli leads Nick Davies at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Frank Ticheli leads Nick Davies at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Sharon Lavery lead the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Sharon Lavery lead the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Jieun Chung at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Jieun Chung at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Chris O'Brien and Ryan Stransky at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

Chris O'Brien and Ryan Stransky at CBDNA 2019. (Photo by Chris O'Brien)

All musicians strive to perform on a national stage. So when the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble got the call to close out the 2019 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Conference on February 23 in Tempe, Ariz., the musicians hopped in a bus and road tripped to the desert.

The performance, led by principal conductor, H. Robert Reynolds, and resident conductor, Sharon Lavery, featured works by Aaron Copland, Ingolf Dahl, Oscar Navarro, Gunther Schuller and Thornton faculty member Frank Ticheli, who stepped in as guest conductor of his Clarinet Concerto.

“It is difficult to put into words what the student’s performance meant to me,” Reynolds said. “The playing was beyond excellent; it was heartfelt, deep and substantial. Sure, it was brilliant and virtuosic, but it was the music making that made the performance so very special.”

Held biennially, the CBDNA National Conference is a four-day event that brings together the country’s top collegiate wind ensembles for performances, presentations of research and panel discussions. The USC Thornton Wind Ensemble was one of 12 ensemble performances at CBDNA 2019.

In addition to performing, the Trojans were able to build their networks with peers from around the country. They also witnessed Reynolds’ induction into the Classical Music Hall of Fame. This was not the Principal Conductor’s first-time earning recognition a CBDNA Conference. Reynolds was the original recipient of the CBDNA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

“It was a tremendous honor to have been invited to the CBDNA national convention, and it was even more special that we were chosen to close the conference with the final concert,” Lavery said. “It’s really no surprise to me, however, given maestro Reynolds’ stature in the profession.”