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Stephen W. Pratt Appointed New Director of Department of Bands

Bloomington, Ind. — The Department of Bands at the Indiana University School of Music will soon be performing to the beat of a different director.

Following an extensive search to succeed long-time director and Wind Ensemble conductor Ray E. Cramer, Professor of Music Stephen W. Pratt has been named the new director of the Department of Bands. His appointment becomes effective in August 2005.

Commenting on the appointment, School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards pointed out that "Steve Pratt's selection as our new Director of Bands comes after an exhaustive national search. Every constituency the department and program serve is excited by the announcement and marvels at the best being right here at Indiana University. It comes as no surprise, but in his decades at IU, Professor Pratt has established one of the finest reputations in the field and is uniformly respected for his teaching, musicianship, and personal qualities."

Pratt has been a member of the School of Music faculty since 1984 and is currently the Associate Director of Bands and director of IU's Summer Music Clinic, as well as conductor of the Symphonic Band and a teacher of graduate wind conducting courses. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Music medal, the Outstanding Bandmaster award, and the Outstanding University Music Educator award. He is president of the College Band Directors National Association North Central Division Board and past-president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association. Pratt is a member of the Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA), the American Bandmasters Association, and the executive board of the National Band Association. He was music director and conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra from 1995-2000 and has been a frequent guest conductor with the Bloomington Pops Orchestra.

"I am very happy to have been chosen for this outstanding position and am looking forward to exploring great musical repertoire, working with outstanding graduate wind conducting students, and leading one of the most active and visible departments in the world-renowned IU School of Music," said Pratt.

Cramer will retire after 36 years of distinguished service to the IU Department of Bands with 24 as its Director. Mr. Cramer will continue his presidency of the Midwest Clinic, will regularly guest conduct at the Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo, Japan for the next four years, and has many guest conducting engagements already scheduled in the States into 2008.

Of Pratt's appointment, Cramer said, "Because of his long association with IU and his musical gifts, he is the right person at the right time to step into this role…I have always believed that the continuity and vision for the department would be better served with Professor Pratt at the helm than by anyone from the outside. His leadership, musicianship, conducting and organizational skills will be admired for years to come as the Director of Bands. "

About the IU School of Music Department of Bands

The band department is an integral part of the IU School of Music and holds a distinguished reputation for musical leadership in the wind band field. The top three wind bands are composed of music majors from all areas of the School of Music. The wind bands perform a wide variety of the finest wind literature, including classics of the repertoire, contemporary works and chamber music for winds.

The department is actively involved in commissioning distinguished new literature for the wind band medium. World premieres have included works by composers Claude Baker, Carolyn Bremer, Donald Crocket, David Dzubay, Eric Ewazen, Frederick Fox, Don Freund, David Gillingham, Donald Grantham, Jeffrey Hass, Bernhard Heiden, Sidney Hodkinson, Jere Hutcheson, David Maslanka, Gunther Schuller, Ellen Spokane, Eric Stokley and John Stout. Distinguished composers that have recently appeared on campus to conduct their works include Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Karel Husa, Timothy Mahr, David Maslanka, Ron Nelson, and Frank Ticheli. Guest artists with the bands regularly include world-renowned soloists from the faculty of the School of Music and others of international stature.

About the IU School of Music

Regarded as one of the leading music schools in the world, the Indiana University School of Music draws approximately 1,700 students from throughout the United States and over 35 foreign countries to a unique atmosphere of the highest standards of musical performance and academic achievement on a Big Ten university campus. The quality of the distinguished faculty has four times led the deans and faculty members of the country's music schools to rank IU number one in the nation. The nearly 1,100 different public performances given each year indicate the level of the school's activity in performance. Graduates of the School of Music are recognized for their superior training and ability and are sought for important positions in the nation's leading educational institutions, professional organizations and ensembles.