All-Colorado Honor Band

The All-Colorado Honor Band is held on the campus of Western State Colorado University each Spring, usually around the end of February. This year marks the 63rd 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 25 - 27, 2016, Thursday afternoon through Saturday afternoon concert.  Audition recordings should be received by November 6, 2015.

Guest Conductor - Mr. Gary Green
Gary Green

Gary D. Green is Emeritus Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.  While teaching at the University of Miami Frost School of Music in addition to supervising all band activities, he was the conductor of the Frost Wind Ensemble, supervised all graduate conducting students in the wind and percussion area and served as the Chairman of Instrumental Performance for seventeen years.

Prior to coming to Miami, Professor Green served for ten years as Director of Bands the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut.  While at the University of Connecticut, Professor Green was influential in commissioning and recording new works for winds and percussion including Symphony No. 3 by David Maslanka and A Cornfield in July and the River by William Penn.

During his tenure at the University of Miami, professor Green continued the commissioning and performance of important new repertoire for winds and percussion.  Under his direction, the Frost Wind Ensemble has performed on two separate occasions for the convention of the American Bandmasters Association as well as twice for the national convention of the College Band Directors National Association.

Recent commissions and consortia from composers include William Penn, Joel Puckett, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, David Maslanka, Paul Dooley, Steve Danyew, Steven Bryant, David Gillingham, James Stephenson, Christopher Theofanidis, John Harbison, James Syler, Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli, Thomas Sleeper, Kenneth Fuchs and others.  Urban Requiem by Michael Colgrass was commissioned by the Abraham Frost Commission Series and has become a standard in the repertoire for wind ensemble.  Among other new compositions written for winds and percussion was the commission for the Frost Wind Ensemble of Christopher Rouse’s Wolf Rounds.

Professor Green is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and the Florida Music Educators Association.  He received the Phillip Frost Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship in 2002.  In March 2007, he joined the ranks of Frederick Fennell, William Revelli, and John Paynter in the Bands of America Hall of Fame.

Professor Green is an active conductor and clinician and has appeared with international, national, and regional bands and intercollegiate bands in all of the continental United States and Hawaii. He has conducted the Texas All-State Band frequently and premiered Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre with that ensemble.  He has also conducted in Taipei, Taiwan where he appeared with the Republic of China Army Band and the Taiwan National Wind Ensemble as part of the 2005 International Band Association Festival.  Additionally he has conducted in Austria, Germany, Japan and England, having performed there in the Royal Academy of Music.  In March of 2008, Professor Green hosted the annual convention of the American Bandmasters Association on the campus of the University of Miami in Coral Gables.

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.