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Bob Cole Music Groups To Perform At National Conferences

Published: March 1, 2011

The CSULB Wind Symphony and the Pacific Standard Time vocal jazz group from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music will perform at separate national conferences in March — prestigious honors for both.

The Wind Symphony, under the direction of John Carnahan, will perform March 24 at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference (CBDNA) held in Seattle from March 23-26.

Christine Guter’s Pacific Standard Time vocal jazz group will perform at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) which takes place in Chicago March 9-12. Guter’s group will perform on March 11.

The invitation for the CSULB Wind Symphony to perform at the University of Washington comes “because we are recognized by many as one of the finest wind bands,” said Carnahan, Director of Bands and Director of the Cole Conservatory. “This prestigious invitation proves that the Wind Symphony is worthy of being included in the highest echelon of wind bands. The conference is held every two years, and you compete for a spot with nearly every university in the country. This is a validating recognition for CSULB, The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, and the Wind Symphony.”

The CBDNA conference is one the most prestigious in the wind band field and CSULB’s Wind Symphony is one of only seven, and the lone representative from the CBDNA Western Division, selected to participate in this conference. The group will perform for hundreds of college wind band conductors, their students, and members of the Seattle community.

“We have a unique Long Beach ensemble sound,” said Carnahan. “Our sound comes from the heart.”

Carnahan has been a professor of music at the university since 1988 and his teaching responsibilities include conductor of the Wind Symphony and professor of graduate conducting. In addition, Carnahan is active nationally as a guest conductor, adjudicator, lecturer and composer/arranger. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and a Master of Education degree from the University of San Francisco.

Guter’s Pacific Standard Time vocal jazz ensemble is made up of 12 singers and four band members and will be just one of only three groups in its category performing at the event in Chicago.

“This is the first time we have ever been invited to go. In order to get invited you have to submit recordings of the last three years so your submission is not based on one year alone,” said Guter, the director of vocal jazz at CSULB who has a master’s degree in studio music and jazz from the University of Miami. “You actually have to show that your program has a history and tradition of excellent ensembles, and they have a panel that chooses a certain number of groups that are invited to perform. So, we are obviously happy about being selected.”

She notes that while traditional jazz groups are smaller, generally six or eight members, and some with as many as 20 individuals, she feels working with her ensemble of 12 provides some subtle differences.

“The harmonies are a lot tighter and more dissonant,” she said. “Twelve is a nice medium number. I think it’s well rounded and gives the group a little bit of a fuller sound.”

Like Carnahan, Guter is active nationally as a guest conductor, lecturer, adjudicator and clinician. She also teaches private jazz students and classical voice lessons.

In addition, Guter is a jazz vocalist, pianist and studio singer having worked with many legendary musicians including Rosemary Clooney, Joe Williams, Diane Schuur, Maynard Ferguson, Mercer Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Mel Torme and Bobby McFerrin. She has also toured internationally with the Dorsey Then and Now Orchestra. She has worked extensively in studio settings since 1990, having sung on Hollywood soundtracks of such movies as “X-Men 3,” “Superman Returns,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Deep Sea 3D,” and “Happy Feet.”

For additional information visit the Bob Cole Conservatory website.

–Shayne Schroeder