Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

September 26, 2006

Whitworth Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble Invited to Perform
at All-Northwest Conference

The Whitworth Wind Symphony and the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble have been selected to perform at the 2007 Music Educators All Northwest Conference, which will be held in Portland in February. The MENC is a biennial, four-day conference that is attended by music teachers and choir and band directors from middle schools, high schools and colleges throughout Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Alaska.

During the conference, educators attend sessions on teaching music as well as concerts presented by various performing groups chosen through anonymous recorded auditions. Both the wind symphony and jazz ensemble submitted recordings they made last year while on tour during Spring Break.

"Concert performances by representative music ensembles from throughout the Northwest are an important component of the conference," says Richard Strauch, associate professor of music and director of the Whitworth Wind Symphony. "Being selected to perform is an honor that recognizes the outstanding quality of the invited ensembles."

While the wind symphony performed at MENC in 2001, the last time both ensembles were selected for MENC performances was in 1999. The wind symphony and the Whitworth Jazz Combo were selected to perform at the 2006 Washington Music Educators All State Conference.

"It is always a great honor when Whitworth groups are chosen because we are competing against much larger schools that have graduate students playing in their ensembles," says Dan Keberle, professor of music and director of jazz studies at Whitworth.

The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble has won first place five times since 1996 at the University of Idaho's annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. In recent years the group has performed in concert at Whitworth with guest artists including Bob Mintzer, Joe Lovano, Slide Hampton, Nicholas Payton, Kenny Garrett, Phil Woods and Gene Harris. The ensemble has also performed in international locations, including Brazil, Germany, Italy, Australia and Cuba. The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble has produced six CDs; the most recent is Whitworth Jazz Ensemble 2004.

The Whitworth Wind Symphony is a select, auditioned 50-member ensemble comprising outstanding wind, brass and percussion student-musicians. The wind symphony tours every other year, and recent tours have taken the ensemble to Seattle, San Francisco, southern California, and Hawaii. The wind symphony has also recorded and released three CDs, Ride (2004), New Century Dawn (2000), and In the Spring (1998).

The Whitworth Wind Symphony specializes in the performance of traditional and contemporary literature for concert band and wind ensemble, and presents several concerts on and off campus throughout the year. The wind symphony has been recognized as one of the outstanding college bands in the region. In addition to its performances at the state and regional MENC conferences, the wind symphony has appeared at the 2002 College Band Directors National Association Western/ Northwestern Regional Conference.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Whitworth, which has an enrollment of 2,500 students, offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Richard Strauch, associate professor of music, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4587 or rstrauch@whitworth.edu.

Daniel Keberle, professor of music and department chair, Whitworth College, (509) 777- 4582 or dkeberle@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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