FPU Symphonic Band named to national showcase

The College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) will honor Fresno Pacific University’s newest music ensemble.

The CBDNA selected the Symphonic Band to participate in its first Small Band Program Showcase during the 2017 CBDNA National Conference March 15-18, 2016, in Kansas City, MO. FPU is one of 10 winners from 41 submissions—the smallest honoree, the only one from the West Coast and one of two from the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

In a message to the winners, CBDNA President Patrick Dunnigan called the quality of the submissions “remarkable.” “Small band programs face unique challenges and, it is my hope, this showcase will bring some much deserved attention to their outstanding teaching,” he wrote.

To qualify as a “small band,” ensembles must be from colleges and universities that do not already have major national reputations in music, that offer bachelor of arts rather than bachelor of music degrees and that face challenges in resources. Bands must also have a large number of members who are not music majors. Erik Leung, D.M.A., assistant professor of music, started the Symphonic Band when he joined FPU two years ago and serves as its conductor. Of the 46 members, 15 are music majors.

“This is probably the most humbling honor to be given,” Leung said. “Ninety percent of what’s happening here is because of the hard work of the students, the great faculty and staff and the support of the administration.”

Leung sees the showcase as momentum to build music and the arts at FPU. “Because now we have a nationally recognized program,” he said. The university has begun a campaign to achieve NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) accreditation that would include building a center for the arts with space for music and theater performances, rehearsal and faculty offices as well as a display area for the visual arts.

Band directors submitted recordings and winners were selected by a jury of three CBDNA members who have performed live at a national conference and have a solid record of service to the organization. The selected conductors will present their showcase recordings at the convention.

Winning schools are:

Drury University
Emory University
Fresno Pacific University
Henderson State University
NW Missouri State University
Sinclair Community College
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
University of West Georgia
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point