All-Colorado Honor Band
The All-Colorado Honor Band is held on the campus of Western State Colorado University each Spring, usually during the first week in March.This year marks the 62nd meeting of this ensemble. Auditions for the All-Colorado Honor Bands are held in the Fall. Specific information about the honor band including audition requirements will be mailed to individual high schools in September. The next festival February 27 - March 1, 2014, Thursday afternoon through Saturday afternoon concert.
Robert Meunier is Director of Bands and Professor of Music at Drake University where he is the conductor of the wind symphony, and director of percussion studies. Meunier is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, and is a contributing author to five volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Teaching Music Through Performing Marches and Teaching Music Through Jazz Performance. He has appeared in concert throughout the United States,and in Sweden, Canada and Mexico, where he has been an artist/conductor in residence at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica and at the Academia de Musica Escuela de Musica Ollin Yoliztli in Mexico City.
Meunier is the founder of the Drake University Wind Symphony that, since its inception in 1998, has developed a national reputation for musical excellence. The ensemble has given invited performances for the North Central Division of the College Band Director’s National Association, North American Saxophone Alliance,Iowa Bandmasters Association, South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association, and toured extensively throughout the Midwest. It has released five compact discs, including Angels and Demons (2001),Homage (2003), Impressions (2005) and Reflections (2007) through Mark Custom Recording. These have received accolades from composers and critics alike, including Band World’s Ira Novoselsky, who in his April 2006 review of Impressions, called Drake’s Wind Symphony “…one of the Midwest’s premier wind orchestras,” and stated: “…the Drake University Wind Symphony gives the utmost attention to every musical detail &nuance.” Both Impressions and Reflections have been honored with Grammy Nomination Eligibility in the “Best Classical Performance” and“Best Orchestral Performance” categories. Recordings by the Wind Symphony have also received high praise from noted band composers including Jan Van der Roost, Joseph Spaniola, Roger Cichy, Timothy Mahr and Barry Kopetz. Meunier has also produced and recorded promotional recordings for both Daehn Publications and C. Alan Publications.
A member of the percussion section of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra for over twenty years, Meunier has experiences in orchestral, jazz, show, solo performance and recording. He includes Don Rickles, Robert Goulet, the Smothers Brothers, Red Skelton, Roger Williams and the Temptations among his numerous performance credits.
Meunier holds a Bachelor of Science in music education from the University of Mary, a Master of Music in percussion performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has pursued doctoral studies in wind conducting at the University of North Texas. In 2005, Meunier was honored as Drake’s College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He is the immediate past-president of the Iowa Bandmasters Association, and a past-president of the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association and the Iowa Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. Meunier is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, Iowa Bandmasters Association, Pi Kappa Lambda.
How it all Started
In 1953 a committee of the Gunnison Volunteer Firemen approached the President of Western State Colorado University to suggest sponsoring two evenings of band music by the Western State Colorado University Band and its newly organized Honor Band for Colorado high school students. The proceeds from these concerts would be used to replace clothing and other personal equipment damaged in protecting the lives and property of Gunnison town and college residents. The plan was promptly approved. In 1990 the Western Slope Choral Festival concert was included as a benefit concert for the Gunnison Volunteer Fire Department.
In the fifty-five years since its inception the concerts have featured many of the nation’s most illustrious musicians, including the late Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the famous “Boston Pops” orchestra. Fiedler, who was a famous fire engine buff, inaugurated the tradition of closing the concert with Goldman’s Third Alarm March, in which the band is augmented by a motley crew of firemen, performing on a clanging of bells and earsplitting sirens of the avocation.
Western State Colorado University is proud of the Gunnison Volunteer Fire Department and appreciative of its efficient and indispensable contribution to school and community. These concerts are a token of that appreciation.
Firefighter of the Year Award
The Robert R.Williams (1927-1977) Memorial Award was established by the Gunnison Volunteer Fire Department in 1982 as a result of a fund created by the family of Chief Williams (1963-1969) in 1978.
The intent of the award is to give recognition annually to an exceptional firefighter for outstanding service to the community.