A West Virginia University professor will be the first civilian in nearly a decade to lead the United States Navy Concert Band on January 27 in Alexandria, Virginia.
“It is a tremendous honor for me to have been invited to conduct the United States Navy Band,” said Mitchell Arnold, director of orchestral activities in WVU’s School of Music. “It is a rare thing for a civilian to be asked to lead the band, one of the finest music ensembles in the country.”
The U.S. Navy Concert Band, the premier wind ensemble of the U.S. Navy, presents a wide array of marches, patriotic selections, orchestral transcriptions and modern wind ensemble repertoire. The regularly tour nationally and internationally and perform an extensive local concert season. Recognized as one of the finest wind ensembles in the world, the Concert Band is in constant demand by the nation's foremost musical education organizations, such as the American Bandmasters Association and The Midwest Clinic.
“I grew up in Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., and as a high school musician, I always looked up to the military bands,” Arnold said. “During my high school years, I had the opportunity to play in an orchestra with members of the Navy Band and I could not believe how talented they were. It is quite a pleasure to come home and conduct a band that I’ve admired for so long.”
The program for Arnold’s appearance with the ensemble includes Paul Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber” and John Adams’s “Short Ride on a Fast Machine.”