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Coe College Festival of Bands 2017
Robert W. Smith

Guest Conductor/Composer
April 6-9, 2017

Festival of Bands Gala Concert:
Rising Above The Flood Poster
Saturday, April 8, 2017, 8:00 pm
Sinclair Auditorium
Coe College
Cedar Rapids, IA

Click here for Festival of Bands press release

William S. Carson, D.M.A.
Director of Bands

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The Coe College Festival of Bands 

Traditionally held each year in April, Coe's Festival of Bands brings a major guest conductor to campus to assist in the celebration of the many facets of band music.

Robert W. Smith

Robert W. SmithRobert W. Smith is a Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Music Industry Program in Troy University’s John M. Long School of Music. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he is one of the most popular composers in the world today with over 700 published works. The majority of his work was published through his long association with Warner Bros. Publications. Mr. Smith is the President/CEO of RWS Music Company, exclusively distributed through C. L. Barnhouse. Mr. Smith’s works for band and orchestra have been programmed by countless professional, university, and school ensembles throughout the North America, Europe, Australia, South America and Asia. His music has received extensive airplay on network television as well as inclusion in multiple motion pictures and television productions. His “Into The Storm” was featured on the 2009 CBS Emmy Awards telecast for the HBO’s mini-series documenting the life of Winston Churchill. Mr. Smith’s teaching responsibilities at Troy University are focused in media composition, audio and live event production, publishing and entrepreneurship.

The Festival Concerts

On Saturday, April 8, at 8:00 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium, Robert W. Smith will join the Coe College Concert Band as a guest conductor for several of his own works. The concert, under the theme "Rising Above the Flood," will celebrate the successful efforts this September to minimize damage from the rising waters of the Cedar River, as well as the role of Coe College students, faculty, and staff, in the flood prevention efforts. We will also be celebrating the rejuvenation of downtown Cedar Rapids after the flood of 2008. Selections by Smith and Cedar Rapids-related composers Michael Daugherty (who just won several more Grammy awards), Andrew Boysen, Jr., and Jerry Owen, will help enliven the celebration. Coe's trumpet professor, Al Naylor, will be featured as a soloist in Dr. Owen's "Soaring on Air."

One of Smith's major works, "Promising Skies," fits the theme particularly well. The piece was commissioned by the United States Marine Band of New Orleans to depict the city's struggles and re-emergence after Hurrican Katrina. The Marine who led the commissioning project and conducted the premiere, CWO4 Michael J. Smith, will help the Coe Concert Band prepare for the concert, and will be participating in the concert as well, although "Promising Skies" will be conducted by the composer, Robert W. Smith (no relation). We are particularly honored the CWO3 Smith will be joining us, as he has recently been honored by being named Director of Marine Music.

  Robert W. Smith will also work with the Elementary Honor Bands, which will perform at 4:00 p.m. that day and with the Coe Junior and Senior Honor Bands, who will present their Festival concert on Sunday, April 9, at 4:00 p.m. Also featured during the Festival, on Thursday, April 6, at 7:00, will be a free concert by the Kirkwood Community College Concert Band, directed by Dr. Joe Perea, and the New Horizons Band of Cedar Rapids, conducted by Alan Lawrence. Tickets for the Honor Band concerts will be available by emailing and tickets for the Coe College Concert Band performance will be available at the door.

The Coe College Festival of Bands, under the administration of Dr. Carson, was established in 1994 and has featured a number of respected composers and conductors:

  • 2016: David Shaffer, Miami University, conductor/composer
  • 2015: Robert Sheldon, Alfred Music, conductor/composer,
  • 2014: Matt Conaway, Purdue University, conductor/composer, Steve Shanley (cell phone soloist), Dr. Carson (bass clarinet soloist), Wes Anderson (tuba soloist) and Coe's President David McInally (electric guitar)
  • 2013: David Shaffer, Miami University, conductor/composer, Ted Vives, conductor/arranger
  • 2012: Larry Neeck,  Capital University, conductor/composer, Erica Coutsouridis, flute
  • 2011: James Swearingen,  Capital University, conductor/composer, Erica Coutsouridis, flute
  • 2010:  Len Orcino, Barnhouse publications, conductor/composer
  • 2009: Robert W. Smith,  Barnhouse publications, conductor/composer
  • 2008: Rob Grice,  Barnhouse publications, conductor/composer
  • 2007: James Swearingen,  Capital University, conductor/composer
  • 2006: Ed HuckebyNortheastern State University (Oklahoma), conductor/composer
  • 2005: David Holsinger,  Lee University, conductor/composer, David Shaffer, Miami University, conductor/composer
  • 2004: Barry Kopetz,  Capital University, conductor/composer
  • 2003: Quincy Hilliard,  University of Louisiana at Lafayette, conductor/composer/narrator
  • Fall 2001: Michael Daugherty,  University of Michigan, conductor/composer
  • Spring 2001: David Gillingham, Central Michigan University, conductor/composer
  • 2000: Frank Ticheli, conductor/composer
  • 1999: Alfred Reed, conductor/composer
  • 1998: David Holsinger, conductor/composer
  • 1997: Quincy Hilliard,  University of Louisiana at Lafayette, conductor/composer
  • 1996: Michael D. Hanes, Southern Illinois University, Jerry Owen, conductor/composer
  • 1995: Richard Mayne, University of Colorado - Boulder
  • 1994: Richard E. Strange, Arizona State University
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| Dr. William S. Carson | Carson Biographical Information |
| Coe College Bands History | Coe College Honor Bands |
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