Banding Together: BCM International

Monday, October 18, 2004—2:00-4:00 p.m.

BCM International is:
Jim Bonney
Steve Bryant
Jonathan Newman
Eric Whitacre

Conducted and Transcribed by Frank J. Oteri
Videotaped by Randy Nordschow


BCM International
BCM International:
Jonathan Newman, Jim Bonney,
Eric Whitacre, and Steve Bryant
(left-right)


The world of symphonic wind bands is so huge that taking one person and using him or her as the definitive representative of this community would be intellectually dishonest. Sure, there are conductors like Frederick Fennell and H. Robert Reynolds, eminences grises within the field, whose advocacy for new music trumps the activities of most conductors of American orchestras, and conversations with either one of them about their decades-long careers and thoughts about the future would have been extremely interesting and thought-provoking.

However, we thought it was most important to emphasize first and foremost the opportunity that this community offers to emerging composers, so instead we chose to speak with the four members of the collective BCM International—Eric Whitacre, Steven Bryant, Jonathan Newman and Jim Bonney—who have each successfully transitioned into being full-time composers as a result of their wind band compositions.

It took quite a bit of strategizing to pull this conversation off—Eric is based in L.A. and Jim is in Chicago—but when we all were finally able to assemble together and talk shop for a couple of hours, it proved to be a very inspirational conversation. I hope after reading this, you’ll seek out the music of these four very different composers (each has a personal web site offering lots to listen to) and then probe further by tapping into the whole universe of new music which has somehow escaped the notice of much of the new music community.

-FJO



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