June 21, 2001
Whitworth Wind Ensemble Selected to
"It's probably going to be the toughest audience we've ever played for," says Richard Strauch, associate professor of music and director of Whitworth's Wind Ensemble. Since they're all college band directors, they're not easy to impress."
The wind ensemble is one of only two college bands selected to perform at each of the past two All-Northwest Music Educators conferences - a rare back-to-back achievement for a college of any size. But being selected to perform at the national association conference is especially unusual for a band from a smaller college like Whitworth, Strauch says.
"I've been going to these conferences for about 10 years, and this is the first time I can recall that a school our size has been invited to perform," he says. "It recognizes the accomplishments of our wind ensemble, which now has to be considered one of the outstanding college bands from the Western United States. We've been fortunate to attract some wonderful student musicians who are looking for the advantages of a small-college atmosphere but who don't want to sacrifice a good musical experience. They get both at Whitworth."
For the conference, the wind ensemble will perform a 40-minute program that likely will include new music not yet widely heard - something college band directors are looking for, according to Strauch. The performance will be incorporated into the wind ensemble's spring tour through California. During the tour the group will perform music to be included on its third CD, which is scheduled to be released in Fall 2002.
Strauch joined the Whitworth faculty in 1997, following appointments as director of bands at Phillips University in Enid, Okla., and acting director of the wind ensemble at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. Strauch received his doctor of musical arts degree from Yale University in 1996 and a bachelor of music from Wheaton College in 1988.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college enrolls 2,000 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Strauch, director of the wind ensemble, (509) 777-4587 or email@example.com.