2019 CU Band Festival

2019 CU Band Festival

By: Sarae Ticeahkie

From Feb. 21-22, the 2nd annual CU Band Festival took place at the Cameron Theatre.

The 2-day festival consisted of a departmental recital, band invitational and band clinic for young high school band students.

Cameron University’s band director Dr. Claudio Re said every year the festival is changing, and new things are being added. He is proud to know that a simple idea has now become a reality.

“Everything you see around us, first starts out as an idea in the mind of someone,” Re said. “This also started as an idea in my mind. And so, all you have to do is get it to action.”

Re said he hopes to add new and associating events, so that the festival will grow into a weekend long event.

At 7:30 p.m., on Feb. 21, Cameron University’s band collaborated with the local Fort Sill 77th Army Band to present a free concert for Cameron students, faculty and the Lawton community.

Dr. Re and Army band Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bridgette Brenmark directed the concert, which included a cello and wind ensemble, followed by a solo piece from Cameron’s string instructor Dr. Kirsten Underwood.

Beginning rehearsals last fall, the bands had the option to later perform music that did not restrict the bands to a specific theme.

Re said he feels that musicians shouldn’t limit music to one particular theme because it limits possibilities to the students.

“I stopped planning concert programs in terms of themes,” Re said. “I try to focus on the quality of music and on the genre and style that we need to feed our students in order for them to grow.”

The local band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi sponsored refreshments for the reception following the concert.

At 11 a.m., on Feb. 22, the second day of the festival consisted of a departmental festival, followed by a clinic that involved local high school bands.

The band invitational showcased the Cameron band student’s level of proficiency, giving the high school students an opportunity to witness what the department has to offer.

The invitational included pieces involving trumpets, clarinets and a percussion ensemble.

The Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity performed during the invitational and helped with the set up for the second day of events.

Junior music performance major and president of Kappa Kappa Psi Jason Villarreal said the eight-member fraternity is like the right-hand man to Re when it comes to the band festival and any service projects in the music department.

Villarreal said that it’s a good opportunity to showcase a specific genre of music to students.

“It’s always good to be able to play for other people,” Villarreal said. “You have an audience that normally doesn’t hear this type of music, so it’s always good to put new stuff out there.”

After the recital, both high schools had the opportunity to do a one-hour clinic with Re, Cameron’s jazz instructor Dr. JD Little and Chief Brenmark, helping each band with their contest music.

The clinic ended with a lunch for the students, sponsored by Cameron’s admissions department, and a campus tour.

Villarreal said that he hopes to continue to play a part in the future band festivals.

“It’s great to get high school involvement,” Villarreal said. “And it’s a good reach out program for the university.”

For more information about future festivals or band related events, contact Re at cre@cameron.edu or 580-581-2802.

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