DR. DENNIS PRIME is a well known clarinetist, conductor, educator and arts administrator. He has served as Dean of Music at the renowned New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida as well as on the faculties of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, the University of Alberta in Edmonton and served as the Director of Canada’s 2nd largest music school, Alberta College Conservatory for over 15 years.
Dr. Prime has performed as soloist, conductor and chamber musician throughout the world including North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He has served as guest conductor for several North American festivals and music workshops and continues to research and commission quality repertoire for a wide variety of ensembles. He has judged several major festivals and is in constant demand as a clinician and adjudicator. He founded the Canadian Cantando Festivals which promote ensemble participation in a non-competitive atmosphere at great concert halls in Western Canada and currently involve over 6000 participants annually.
An extra player with the Edmonton Symphony for over 25 years, Dr. Prime also conducted the ESO for many years in a variety of programs. He founded the Edmonton Wind Sinfonia and conducted that group for over 25 years as well as introducing Edmonton to a variety of contemporary wind repertoire and introducing several outstanding soloists from around the world. As well he has conducted most Canadian provincial honour bands (many more than once) and done numerous residences at Universities in both Canada and the USA.
An avid chamber musician, he has recorded over 30 programs for the CBC including performing on recorder with the Plumber’s Union, on saxophone with the Edmonton Saxophone Quartet and on clarinet and basset horn for endless combinations of chamber musicians. He was also a well-known “doubler” and played in the pit at the Citadel Theatre for more than a decade’s worth of musicals.
Dennis is not only well known as a classical player but pursued jazz during his college years and played frequently in the Big Miller Band and other jazz groups earlier in his career. As a teacher and administrator, his ensembles won national and international awards, including three wins at the prestigious “Essentially Ellington” Festival in New York run by Wynton Marsalis.
Dennis currently divides his time between Edmonton, Alberta and Miami, Florida where he pursues a variety of musical and non-musical activities.
DR. STEPHEN K. STEELE retired following forty five years of teaching, conducting and administering wind band programs. Dr. Steele developed award winning public school bands in California, Oregon and Arizona during his first fourteen years of teaching, and, in addition to his conducting and administrative responsibilities, taught undergraduate and graduate conducting, wind literature, and music education courses at the University of Arizona and a university located in the Midwest.
Collegiate ensembles under his baton performed for local, regional and national conventions, including the 1990 American Bandmasters Association Convention, the 1993 and 2001 College Band Directors National Association Conference, and the 2005 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.
Steele conducted and produced many compact discs for the Albany Records label. Much of the repertoire on the discs includes a portion of the significant number of commissions Dr. Steele was responsible for throughout his career.
Dr. Steele continues to serve as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, American School Band Directors Association, Music Educators National Association, Phi Mu Alpha, Pi Kappa Lambda, and holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.
KEITH BRION is currently a free-lance conductor of professional bands and symphony orchestra. Professional bands include Mr. Brion’s own New Sousa Band, which is now actively touring. He has been a frequent guest conductor of the Goldman Band, the Allentown Band, and the Stockholm Symphonic Wind Orchestra. He has also appeared with the United States Marine Band, the United States Army Band, the Army Field Band, the West Point Band, the U. S. Army Ground Forces Band, the Band of Europe, the United States Coast Guard Band, and the Royal Swedish Navy Band. His university appearances have included the bands of the universities of Texas, Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan State, Iowa, Iowa State, Illinois State and Kentucky, as well as frequent clinic performances.
Mr. Brion has led his own New Sousa Band, a nationally selected ensemble, since 1986. The band has toured all over the United States, including special concerts presented by the Minnesota Orchestra in 2000, the Seattle Symphony in 2002, and a Japanese tour in 1996. During 2009, the band appeared as featured artists at both the WASBE (World Band Conference) and the Midwest Band Convention in Chicago. He completed a China tour in 2010.
He has led his popular Sousa revival concerts with almost all of America’s major and regional orchestras including the Boston Pops and the Symphonies of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Houston, Atlanta, Utah, and Milwaukee. He has conducted other popular programs with such orchestras as the Florida Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, San Jose Symphony, and San Diego Symphony in addition to leading Sousa with Canadian orchestras in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Hamilton. His overseas engagements have included the London Concert Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony, and the Gothenburg Symphony.
Mr. Brion has appeared in the PBS TV special, The New Sousa Band On Stage at Wolftrap, and the PBS TV 90 minute special, If You Knew Sousa. He has a role in a Sousa TV show on BBC Channel Two. His recordings include the Original-All-American-SOUSA! With his New Sousa Band for Delos Records; the Sousa Legacy for Bainridge Records, recorded with the Rochester Philharmonic and the New Sousa Band; To the Fore! The Wind Band Music of Percy Grainger with the Michigan State Wind Symphony on Delos; and “Star Dawn,” the Wind Music of Alan Hovhannes with trombonist Christian Lindberg and Walking Frog Records. Mr. Brion is now recording extensively for the Naxos label, including three volumes each of the orchestral music of Sousa and Victor Herbert, and a Percy Grainger orchestral issue, The Power of Love. In the summer of 1999, he began to record a series of CDs of the complete Sousa band music with London’s Royal Artillery Band, also for Naxos with the Royal Swedish Navy Band. He has recorded three wind symphonies by Alan Hovhaness with the Wind Orchestra of the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow and trumpeter John Wallace. Hovhaness Volume II, completing the seven Hovhaness wind symphonies was released in May of 2010 with London’t Trinity College of Music Wind Orchestra. It is to be followed by a third CD recorded with CWU’s Wind Ensemble in Spring of 2014.
Mr. Brion has published numerous editions for band including the music of Charles Ives, Percy Grainger, J. Bodewalt Lamp, and D. W. Reeves, plus over thirty critical performance editions of the music of John Philip Sousa.
Mr. Brion began his career as a vocal and instrumental teacher in the East Brunswick, New Jersey schools where he started the music program. He served for six years as band director at Newton, New Jersey High School. From 1963-2000, he was supervisor of music with the Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools, Director of the North Jersey Wind Symphony, while serving as an adjunct teacher of flute of the Monclair State and William Paterson Colleges, and as curator of the Percy Grainger collection at Upsala College. He performed regularly as a flutist with the New Jersey and New Haven symphonies. From 1973-1980, he was director of bands at Yale University, leading the Yale Band in concerts at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and an all-Ives program at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. From 1998-2000, he served as interim band director at San Jose State University.
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