21st Century History of the Albany State University Symphonic Band

During the 2000-2001 school year the Albany State University Concert Band had only 7 students on its role.  The Marching Band was approximately 90 musicians at that time.  In order to improve this situation, Drum Major Christopher Pike organized a “Kappa Kappa Psi Band” of  approximately 60 members made up of area high school students, as well as Albany State University students.  The directors of this group were Dr. Michael Martin, Assistant Professor of Music at ASU since 1999, and Mr. Jesse Walker, Music Supervisor of the Dougherty County Schools.

In 2001-2002, Dr. Leroy Bynum, then Department Chair of Fine Arts, named  Dr.  Martin Concert Band Director, and our new Assistant Band Director, Mr. Michael Decuir,  Marching Band Director.  Dr. Lamar Smith remained as Director of Bands until his retirement in 2003.  In addition, Jesse Walker volunteered his time assisting with the Concert Band.  In 2002-2003, Mr. Walker was hired as an adjunct instructor of  low brass instruments.  Within a few years, Mr. Walker left the Dougherty County Schools and was hired full time at ASU, becoming an Assistant Band Director for both the Concert and Marching Bands and a teacher of low brass instruments.

The Concert Band in the Spring of 2002 consisted of  approximately 30 members rehearsing one evening per week.  Additional high school students were added to the group a second night per week bringing total membership to approximately 60. This combined group was still referred to as the “Kappa Kappa Psi Band.”  The literature performed included intermediate works such as Flourish for Wind Band by Vaughan Williams and American Folk Rhapsody No. 2 by Grundman.  During the 2002-03 school year the Concert Band increased to 60 members, and the participation of high school students largely discontinued.  We began to perform some advanced literature that year including Irish Tune and Shepherd’s Hey by Grainger and Africa by R. Smith.

The Symphonic Band has existed since 2004 when the ASU wind and percussion students were divided into intermediate (Concert) and advanced (Symphonic) groups.  An annual concert has been given every April since 2002.  From 2003 until 2011 this concert was given jointly with the now decommissioned Albany Marine Band.  The Symphonic Band has performed for the HBCU-National Band Directors Consortium Annual Convention in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017; for the Georgia Music Educators Association District II Honors Band Clinic in 2005, 2007, and 2016; and for the GMEA District IV Honors Band Clinic in 2006.  The group has performed many classics of the wind band literature over the years including works by Milhaud, Dello Joio, Persichetti, Hanson, Holst, Reed, Chance, Jacob, W. Schuman and C. Williams, as well as transcriptions and marches.

Albany State University Symphonic Band
works performed since 2002

Advanced literature
God of Our Fathers-C. Smith (2018)
Cortege de Bacchus from Sylvia-Delibes/Osterling (2016)
Rush-Hazo (2016)
Ride-Hazo (2015)
George Washington Bridge-Schuman (2015)
Duke Ellington!-arr. Custer (2015)
Emperata Overture-C. Smith (2014)
An Original Suite-Jacob (2014)
Elegy for a Young American-LoPresti (2014)
Cousins-Clarke (2014)
O Magnum Mysterium-Lauridsen/Reynolds (2014)
The Sinfonians-Williams (2013)
American Hymnsong Suite-Milburn (2013, 2016)
When Jesus Wept-Schuman (2013)
Dramatic Essay-Williams (2012)
Punchinello-Reed (2011)
Nabucco Overture-Verdi/Calliet (2011, 2018)
Flashing Winds-Van der Roost (2010)
Scenes from the Louvre-Dello Joio (2010)
Earl of Oxford’s March from William Byrd Suite-Jacob (2010)
Machu Picchu-City in the Sky-Yagisawa (2010)
Overture to The Marriage of Figaro-Mozart/Slocum (2009)
Pageant-Persichetti (2009)
Suite Français-Milhaud (2009)
I Am What Is Set In Motion-Samuel (2009-new/commissioned)
The Unknown Soldier-Hilliard (2009)
First Suite in E-flat-Holst (2008)
Gavorkna Fanfare-Stamp (2008)
Be Thou My Vision-Gillingham (2008)
Symphonic Dance No. 3-Williams (2008)
Twelve Seconds to the Moon-R. W. Smith (2008)
Manzoni Requiem, excerpts-Verdi/Mollenhauer (2008)
Rainbow Ripples-Green (2007)
Incidental Suite-C. T. Smith (2007)
Symphonic Suite-Williams (2007, 2018)
Kirkpatrick Fanfare-Boysen (2007)
“Nimrod” from Enigma Variations-Elgar, trans. Reed (2007, 2016)
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night-Del Borgo (2007)
Finale from Symphony No. 1 in G minor-Kalinkov/Bainum (2007)
Kunihild, Prelude to Act III-Kistler/Barr (2007)
The Abduction from the Seraglio-Mozart, trans. Longfield (2006)
Chester Overture for Band-Schuman (2006, 2012)
Procession of the Nobles-Rimsky-Korsakov/Leidzen (2006, 2017)
Chorale and Alleluia-Hanson (2006)
Suite of Old American Dances-Bennett (2006, 2017)
Persuasion-Nestico (2003, 2006, 2015)
Finale from Symphony No. 4-Tchaikovsky/Safranek (2006)
Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo-Arnold (2005, 2017)
Variations on a Korean Folksong-Chance (2005, 2012)
The Universal Judgment-De Nardis/Cafarella (2005)
Tribute to the Count-Basie/Nestico (2005, 2013, 2017)
Ghost Dance-Hilliard (2005)
Incantation and Dance-Chance (2004, 2011)
Alleluia, Laudamus Te-Reed (2004, 2012)
Amazing Grace-Ticheli (2004, 2015)
A Movement for Rosa-Camphouse (2004)
Irish Tune and Shepherd’s Hey-Grainger (2003, 2011)
Africa: Ceremony, Song and Ritual-R. W. Smith (2003)

Intermediate literature

Exaltations-Owens (2017)
A Tribute to Jesse-arr. T. Jones (2014, 2015, 2016)
Two Moods-Grundman (2013)
Duke Ellington in Concert-Murtha (2012, 2016)
Pageantry Overture-Edmondson (2012, 2015)
The Place Where the Reeds Were Destroyed-Hilliard (2011)
Good Daughter Overture-Piccini (2010)
Overture for Winds-Carter (2006)
Three Ayres from Gloucester-Stuart (2005, 2014)
Balladair-Erickson (2005)
Chant and Jubilo-McBeth (2004, 2009)
Toccata for Band-Erickson (2003)
Flourish for Wind Band-Vaughan Williams (2002, 2018)
American Folk Rhapsody #2-Grundman (2002)
Deep River-arr. Swearingen (2002, 2011, 2016)
Pictures at an Exhibition, excerpts-Mussorgsky/Curnow (2002)
Sea Breeze-Gingery (2002)

La Calesera-Alonzo (2017)
Semper Fidelis-Sousa (2016)
Montmartre-Wood, arr. Hawkins (2014)
Liberty Bell-Sousa (2013)
Washington Post-Sousa (2013)
National Emblem-Bagley (2013, 2018)
Invercargill-Lithgow (2012)
Domingo Ortega-Ledesma and Oropesa (2012)
The Vanished Army-Alford (2011)
Americans We-Fillmore (2011, 2016)
Gallito-Lope (2010)
The Governor’s Own-Adams (2010)
Florentiner-Fucik (2009)
Emblem of Unity-Richards (2009, 2015)
The Mad Major-Alford (2008)
Canción de España-Martin (2008, 2015)
The Screamer-Jewell (2008)
Die Wacht am Rhein-Von Blon (2007)
650 East-Oldham and Hale (2007)
Marche Lorraine-Ganne (2006)
His Honor-Fillmore (2006, 2012, 2017)
The Purple Carnival-H. Alford (2006)
Rolling Thunder-Fillmore (2005, 2014)
Courthouse Square, concert march-Martin (2005)
Suspiros de España-Alvarez (2005)
Army of the Nile-Alford (2005, 2018)
The Trombone King-King (2004)
Them Basses-Huffine (2003)
Hosts of Freedom-King (2003)
Beguine in F-Martin (2003)
Allied Honor-King (2002)

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