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Events | News | Arts and SciencesApril 07, 2023

UAFS Wind Ensemble to Host Symposium, Concert

The UAFS Department of Music and Theatre is excited about the new Stacey Jones Season of Entertainment. The UAFS Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Alexandra Zacharella, Director of Bands, will take the stage on April 18 at 7:00 p.m. At the ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center in the Fort Smith Convention Center at 55 S. 7th St. in downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas.

This is an incredible concert series for the UAFS Wind Ensemble. The festivities for the wind ensemble begin on Sunday, April 16, from noon to 6:30 p.m. as UAFS hosts its first conducting symposium with world-renowned guest conductor and clinician H. Robert Reynolds, Director Emeritus of University Bands, Arthur Thurnau Emeritus Professor of Music (Conducting), The University of Michigan.

The symposium will be at the Fort Smith Convention Center. It will bring professional conductors from Arkansas and Oklahoma to Fort Smith to work with H. Robert Reynolds and Dr. Alexandra Zacharella to enrich and enhance their craft of conducting. The UAFS Wind Ensemble will be the host ensemble. Those interested in participating as observers can find information at

On Tuesday, April 18, the UAFS wind ensemble, under the direction of  Zacharella and guest conductor Reynolds, will perform works by a diverse group of composers such as Dimitri Shostakovich, Morton Gould, Nicole Piunno, Katahj Copley, Louis Ballard, Paul Dooley, and Johann Sebastian Bach. Highlights of the concert included Shostakovich’s Festive Overture Opus 96, Nicole Piunno’s beautifully interwoven work of “Taps” and “Amazing Grace” entitled Safely Rest, and Louis Ballard’s Scenes from Indian Life. Jon Jeter, music director and conductor of the Fort Smith Symphony, has made Scenes from Indian Life to the UAFS Wind Ensemble. The Fort Smith Symphony will perform works by Ballard on their upcoming concert series Native American Legends at 7:00 p.m. April 23 at the ArcBest PAC.

Zacharella said they are “beyond excited to host H. Robert Reynolds for the inaugural UAFS Conducting Symposium and the Stacey Jones Season of Entertainment Concert. Professor Reynolds was my wind ensemble director during my master’s degree at the University of Michigan and my doctorate at the University of Southern California. As a student, we shared many incredible musical moments on stage together. I am thrilled to have him share his conducting magic with our UAFS music students, UAFS alum, and the River Valley Community. Professor Reynolds is a legend in the wind band conducting world and you will not want to miss this concert!”

Admission to the April 18 concert is free and open to the public.

Reynolds was Director of University Bands, Chairman of the Conducting Department, Director of the Instrumental Studies, and Arthur Thurnau Professor of Music at the University of Michigan until 2001. Following his Michigan tenure, he became the Principal Wind Ensemble Conductor and the H. Robert Reynolds Professor of Wind Conducting at the University of Southern California for nearly 20 years. In addition to these responsibilities, he was, for over 35 years, the conductor of the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, which is made up primarily of members from the Detroit Symphony.

Reynolds has conducted recordings for Koch International, Pro Arte, Caprice, and Deutsche Grammophon. In the United States, he has conducted at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center (New York), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Kennedy Center (Washington, D. C.), Powell Symphony Hall (St. Louis), Academy of Music (Philadelphia), Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), the Koussevisky Shed and Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood. In Europe, he conducted the premiere of an opera for La Scala Opera (Milan, Italy) and concerts at the Maggio Musicale (Florence, Italy), the Tonhalle and the Lucerne Festival Hall in Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland, and at the Holland Festival in the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), as well as the 750th Anniversary of the City of Berlin. He has also conducted at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. 

Reynolds has won the praise of composers: Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, Henryk Gorecki, Karel Husa, Gyorgy Ligeti, Darius Milhaud, Bernard Rands, Gunther Schuller, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and many others for his interpretive conducting of their compositions.

In 2019, Reynolds was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, and in 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Duquesne University. In addition, he holds degrees in Performance and Music Education from the University of Michigan, where he was the conducting student of Elizabeth Green. He began his career in the public schools of Michigan and California before beginning his university conducting at California State University at Long Beach and the University of Wisconsin before his tenure at the University of Michigan. He received the Citation of Merit from the Music Alumni Association of the University of Michigan for his contributions to the many students he has influenced during his career and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Band Alumni Association. He is also an Honorary Life Member of the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association. Many of his former students now hold major conducting positions at leading conservatories and universities, and several have been National Presidents of the College Band Directors National Association.


Professor Reynolds is Past President of the College Band Directors’ Association and is the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from that organization. He is also Past President of the Big Ten Band Directors’ Association. He has received the highest national awards from Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Mu, the National Band Association, and the American School Band Directors’ Association. He was awarded the “Medal of Honor” by the International Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic. He is the recipient of a “Special Tribute” from the State of Michigan and was a member of the National Awards Panel for the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) for over 10 years, and in 2001, he received a national award from that organization for his contributions to contemporary American music. He also is listed in the New Groves Dictionary of American Music, and his frequent conducting appearances have included the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, as well as the Wind Ensemble at the Tanglewood Institute.

Robert Reynolds has been a featured conductor and lecturer at international conferences in Austria, Australia, Norway, Belgium, England, Holland, Slovenia, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland. He has conducted in many of the major cities of Japan, Spain, and Sweden, including concerts with the Stockholm Wind Orchestra, the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra, and professional wind ensembles in Bilbao and Barcelona, Spain.


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