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 26 - 28, 2015, Thursday afternoon through Saturday afternoon concert.  Audition recordings should be received by December 5, 2014

Guest Conductor - Dr. Joseph Manfredo

Joseph Manfredo is an Associate Professor of Music for the School of Music at Illinois State University.  At ISU, Manfredo is the Coordinator of Music Education and teaches undergraduate courses in instrumental music education.  In addition, he is coordinator of the student teaching program.

Originally from the Chicago area, Manfredo received a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Eastern Illinois University, where he studied clarinet with Dr. Earl Boyd and piano with Dr. Catherine Smith.  His graduate studies included a Master of Arts Degree in Instrumental Conducting from EIU and a Doctorate of Music Education from the University of Illinois.  During his doctoral residency, Manfredo was awarded the band conducting internship to study with the legendary Dr. Harry Begian.  In addition, he also studied with Gary Smith and James Curnow.  His doctoral dissertation was awarded the Fritz Thelan Prize by the International Society for the Promotion and Investigation of Wind Music (IGEB) in 1994.  The Thelan Prize was for “the outstanding American doctoral dissertation on the wind band, 1990 – 1994”.

Professor Manfredo is in constant demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator.  He has conducted various All-State Bands and Honor Bands throughout the United States and Canada.  Since August 2011, he has been conductor of the Festival Band for the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival. His collegiate bands have been selected to perform at national, regional, and state conferences.

In addition, he has presented lectures and clinics at the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic, national conferences for the National Association for Music Educators, College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, the Instrumental Music Teacher Educators Biennual Colloquium, and the Conn-Selmer Institute.  He has made presentations at state music conferences in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas, and internationally in Shanghai China, Mainz Germany, Echternach, Luxembourg, Graz Austria, Coimbra, Portugal, and in various cities throughout Brazil. 

Manfredo has published journal articles in the Groves Dictionary of Music, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Band Research, Music Educators Journal, Journal of Music Teacher Education, The Instrumentalist, Illinois Music Educators Journal, and the Alta Musica series.  In addition, he was asked to write The Conductor’s Manual for the Essentials of Musicianship series published by Hal Leonard. 

Dr. Manfredo is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Midwest Clinic.  He also serves as the chief editor of the MitteilungsBlatt, one of the publications for IGEB, the International Society for the Promotion and Investigation of Wind Music; and he is on the editorial board for the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).  In 2013, the XI Chapter of Phi Beta Mu (International Bandmasters Fraternity) presented to Manfredo the Outstanding Bandmaster Award

Conductor - Dr. Michael Flynn

Dr. Michael P. Flynn is the Director of Bands and Brass Instruction at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO.  Teaching duties include conducting the Symphony Band and Varsity Band, teaching Brass Lessons, Music Technology, Music Education Courses, Music Appreciation, and Conducting Courses.

Dr. Flynn has recently won the second trumpet position with the Billings Symphony Orchestra, and will be performing with the Colorado Springs Symphony and the Denver Brass this upcoming season.  Additional positions include auxiliary trumpet position for the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony, Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, and the Casper Brass.  Current solo collaboration includes a recording project with 2011 International Acoustic Artist of the year, South African Roland Albertson.  Communicating through digital media clips and video conference, the two are planning the use of the trumpet in Albertson's newest demo CD and future recording projects.  Here in Gunnison, Dr. Flynn is looking forward to a duo recital with Mr. Ken Todd this upcoming April.  

Before joining the faculty at Western this year, Dr. Flynn was the Director of Bands and Brass instruction at Sheridan College in Sheridan, Wyoming from 2012-2014.  Supplementing his classical study, Dr. Flynn performed and recorded with the University of Miami Studio Jazz Band, directed by Chuck Bergeron, former bass player for Buddy Rich, and studied privately with Alex Norris, now with the Village Vanguard Orchestra, and Greg Gisbert, member of the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra.

Honor band French horns

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.