Above, The American Band College Directors Band will perform at the Craterian on June 26 and in Ashland on July 4. Right, soloist Harry Watters will perform with the band on June 26.

Band leaders to perform in concert

For the 19th year, the American Band College Directors Band will perform in the Rogue Valley. The first performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, at the Ginger Roger Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central, Medford.

The second performance will be the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Concert at the Ashland High School Football Stadium. Pre-concert music by small groups of ABC band members begins at 7 p.m.

The concert by the two 110-member Directors' Bands will begin at 8 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring blankets and picnic on the grounds. The last 30 minutes of the show coincides with the Ashland fireworks display.

Entitled "Sing, Sing, Sing," the program at the Craterian will feature several big-band era jazz tunes, including "A Dixieland Musical Journey Through New Orleans," a medley of tunes from that area. Having outgrown the stage at the Craterian, the 200 band directors are divided into two bands, with each band performing half of the evening's show.

Prior to the concerts, from June 21 to July 4, 200 middle school, high school and college band directors from throughout the United States come to Southern Oregon University to learn from 25 world-class clinicians in two one-week sessions at the American Band College.

Most directors are part of the three-year master's degree program; some already have earned their master's from the program but are returning to be part of what has been described as "summer camp for band directors" and to be inspired in their own teaching efforts.

Founded by Professor Emeritus Max McKee in 1989, The American Band College began as an undergraduate training program at Southern Oregon University. Simultaneously, the summer program began as a means of bringing outstanding teachers to the campus. McKee subsequently retired from his professorship to devote his time to running the American Band College. His son Scott McKee, himself a former high school band director, has joined the program.

In 1992, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education approved the American Band College master's degree program. The first year 13 candidates enrolled, receiving their degrees in 1994. This year there are 200 master's degree candidates enrolled coming from most states and a few foreign countries.

The June 26 Craterian show's trombone soloist Harry Watters serves with the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble. He has performed with many artists including Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Erich Kunzel, Shirley Jones and Peter Nero.

Conductors for the June 26 show will be Frank Wickes and Philippe Langlet. Wickes is director of bands at Louisiana State University since 1980. Langlet has been one of the principal promoters of the concert, marching and jazz band scene throughout France.

Guest soloists for the July 4 show will be the Capital Saxophone Quartet. Guest conductors will be David Holsinger, composer and professor at Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee, and Ray Cramer, former member of the Indiana University School of Music faculty.

Tickets for the June 26 concert are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors (62 and up), and $7 for children under 12. Call 779-3000.

Tickets for the July 4 concert are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors (62 and up), children under 12 admitted free with a paying adult.

Tickets are available at Cripple Creek Music and online at www.bandworld.org.

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