RMC Instrumental Ensemble Selected to Perform at College Band Directors National Association Conference

News Story categories: Music

The Randolph-Macon Instrumental Ensemble travels to Columbia, South Carolina this weekend to perform at the 2022 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Southern Division Conference. This marks the first invitation to a state, regional, or national conference in the program’s short history.

“The selection of the Ensemble to play at the Southern Division conference is an accomplishment worthy of recognition and celebration for any program, but we are all the prouder because our instrumental program is in only its fourth year of existence,” wrote President Robert R. Lindgren and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Alisa Rosenthal in a joint letter to CBDNA leaders. “[The] invitation recognizes the skill, dedication, and commitment of our musicians and our faculty.”

The Randolph-Macon Instrumental Ensemble, under the direction of Founding Director of Instrumental Ensembles Dr. Brian Coffill, is one of only five collegiate ensembles invited to the biennial conference. This year’s event, centered on showcasing creative musical solutions, is hosted by the University of South Carolina in unorthodox venues situated on and around its campus. The CBDNA Southern Division stretches from the Potomac to past the Mississippi River and includes collegiate institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

About the CBDNA Performance

The Randolph-Macon Ensemble’s performance on Friday, February 25 will take place at 1:15 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, where the Yellow Jackets will perform a concert program made up of creative repertoire specifically adapted, transcribed, or commissioned by and composed for the Ensemble. The program will include reconfigurations of original compositions, including works by Clara Wieck Schumann, Gordon Jacob, and Pulitzer Prize–winner Michael Colgrass, among others, as well as commissions written for the RMC Ensemble by Omar Thomas, Allison Loggins-Hull, and JoAnn Harris (a world premiere). The concert will be presented in front of an in-person audience composed of conductors, collegiate and high school musicians, and a worldwide audience via streaming.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Coffill, “one that I was not expecting to come along so early in the life of our instrumental music program. The fact that we were ready to seize this opportunity is a testament to the hard work and commitment of Randolph-Macon’s student-musicians over the past four years, something we can all be proud of for years to come. The Ensemble and I look forward to sharing our creative musicianship with colleagues and audiences from across the country.” Dr. Coffill also expressed gratitude to the Randolph-Macon College administration and the Shelton Hardaway Short, Jr. Trust for supporting the Ensemble’s performance tour.

View a recording of the concert.

About the Randolph-Macon College Instrumental Ensemble

Founded in part by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Randolph-Macon Instrumental Ensemble is the College’s first official curricular instrumental musical ensemble. While technically classified as a “chamber orchestra,” this flexible-instrumentation group at times exhibits the characteristics of an orchestra and at others a band. The repertoire performed by this unconventional group has been accordingly unorthodox, ranging from works originally written for wind bands, string orchestras, choirs, chamber groups, solo instruments, jazz combos, and even New Orleans-style brass bands.

The Ensemble began its musical life with a flash-mob performance of Terry Riley’s “In C” in October 2018, and, in its short existence, it has already become an active part of the local and national musical conversation. Together with the Jazz Improvisation Laboratory, Randolph-Macon College’s instrumental ensembles are committed to pushing the boundaries of musical performance and expanding the instrumental repertoire while still catering to the musical needs of a primarily non-major musical population of a small liberal arts college.

This spring, the Randolph-Macon Music Program is also celebrating the move into its new home, the renovated Center for the Performing Arts and its state-of-the-art rehearsal room, Haun Rehearsal Hall.

Additional information about the program, including details on Macon Music Scholarships for incoming students, is available on RMC’s ensemble page. Follow Randolph-Macon’s Music Program, and the Ensemble’s concert tour, on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.