The NYU Concert Band was officially inaugurated with its first concert on Friday, December 3, 2010 under the baton of Professor Michael L. Breaux. Since that auspicious opening concert, the ensemble has developed into one of the University’s premiere All-University ensembles. The members of the group all share a common love of playing wind-band music, but also, more importantly, playing their instruments in a wind-band setting. The ensemble has had membership from all schools at NYU and now has a member of the University leadership as well: Provost David McLaughlin. Our esteemed Provost was a trumpet player in high school and has joyfully accepted an invitation to dust off his trumpet and spend time with us in the trumpet section.
Membership in the NYU Concert Band is by audition only, but the ensemble is not strictly limited to music majors. If you are able to attend the rehearsals, prepare your music for each rehearsal and performance, and play your instrument at a high enough level, you may also become a member of the band. Even if you do not own your instrument, there may be an instrument for you to use. Our inventory is very limited, but that is slowly changing as we have recently purchased two tubas and a tenor saxophone.
We are quite blessed to have had composers and solo performers who have joined us from the very first concert. Professor Steven Rosenhaus had the honor of crafting the very first piece of music that the band played on our inaugural concert. Professor Rosenhaus once again joined us on stage to conduct his own Nine Feet of Brass for trombone soloist and wind band on May 3, 2013, with bass trombone soloist Professor John Rojak. Flute Professor Gary Schocker also joined us onstage for his composition Regrets and Resolutions on November 30, 2012. On that same concert we hosted two more composers: Travis Cross and Benjamin Hjertmann. Let the Amen Sound was composed by Mr. Cross, and Catclaw Mimosa was Mr. Hjertmann’s exotic composition.
On December 15, 2013, we were extremely honored to have composer/conductor Johan de Meij lead the band in his composition Songs from the Catskills. Working with our new composer and new member of the Concert Band family, Mr. de Meij, was both exciting and extremely enlightening as he brought his own reasons for creating music to the ensemble, and helped us understand how he develops his music. This has spurred many members of the ensemble to begin to create their own music. On that same concert, the then-Dean of Steinhardt, Dean Mary Brabeck, joined us onstage for Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride as our sleigh bell soloist!
Student soloists have ranged from one of our tuba players, Mr. Stanley Figaro, performing From the Shores of the Mighty Pacific, to Luke Palter’s lovely performance of Trumpeter’s Lullaby. On that same concert, bassoonist and composer Jordyn Gallinek conducted her own composition, Game of the Green Knight, with Professor Breaux playing bassoon in her stead!
Rehearsals are currently on Monday and Wednesday mornings (9:30 to 11:30am) in the Global Center’s Grand Hall. We have dedicated percussion and a very fine acoustic environment in which we may develop our musical offerings. Instrumentation is that of a regular concert band and we are constantly looking for most all instruments to fill out our ranks.
The ensemble performs at least one concert a semester, but in the spring we may travel to run-out concerts such as the Columbia Festival of Winds. This semester’s performance is on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 8:00pm in the Frederick Loewe Theatre.
Professor Michael L. Breaux
Office: 35 West 4th Street, Suite 1077G