Dr. Janet Heukeshoven
After graduation from high school, where can people go to continue to enjoy making music together in a concert band? The SMU Concert Band strives to answer that question. If you enjoyed playing in your high school band there is a place for you in the Saint Mary’s University band program. Students from all academic areas are invited to participate. We enjoy making music in a cooperative, positive atmosphere.
The 70 member SMU Concert Band rehearses twice weekly on Monday and Wednesday evenings, as not to conflict with science labs, afternoon sports practices and most other campus events. We also welcome a number of talented high school and community musicians into our midst as part of our ongoing college/community partnership. Auditions are held at the start of each academic year for chair placement, it is expected that band members have participated in high school ensembles prior to joining the SMU band.
The band performs an average twice each semester, and participates in off-campus performances on a regular basis, performing at high schools or other regional concerts.
The SMU Band also performs for the undergraduate commencement ceremony and other official university events when the occasion arises.
The Concert Band has made a commitment to not only performing the very best traditional and contemporary wind band literature possible, but also to commission a new work for band every other year through the Kaplan Commissioning Program, established in 1998. Past composers who have written for the band include Grammy award winning Steve Barnett, Lee Kesselman, Philip Rothman, and internationally acclaimed composer Judith Lang Zaimont, Marc Bernstein, and Paul Richards. This April the band will premier a new work by Larry Bitensky, a piece for narrator and band based on an old Russian Jewish folk tale. For additional information on the Kaplan commission Program please click on the Kaplan Project link.