The University of Arizona "Pride of Arizona" Marching Band, directed by Professor Jay C. Rees, has received the prestigious honor of being selected by the College Band Directors National Association as one of the top five marching bands in the country.
They won recognition for the band's 2008 "Weather Report" field show. The recognition was announced recently following a juried competition hosted by the College Band Directors National Association.
"It's an honor for our students, the UA School of Music, and the department of bands, to be professionally acknowledged for our dedication to excellence," said UA associate director of bands and professor of music Jay C. Rees.
Rees composes and/or arranges all of the music performed by the Pride of Arizona Marching Band. He also designs the band's field choreography and directs the 250-member ensemble to inspired perfection.
This is the second year that the competition has been held and marks the first year that the band has received the honor. A video performance of the band's "Weather Report" show will be featured in a special presentation at the annual College Band Directors National Association's national conference, to be held on March 27 at the University of Texas at Austin.
"We have performed so many groundbreaking and cutting-edge shows over the years, working tirelessly to innovate a new culture in our medium," said Rees. "To be recognized in this way by such a prestigious organization is to stand among the very elite in our field.
Hundreds of college marching bands across the country submit videos of their performances for review by a panel of seasoned judges. Competition is demanding, and only the top five bands are selected as the most outstanding.
Joining the UA Pride of Arizona band in winning the 2008 marching band competition are the University of California Los Angeles, Colorado State University, Texas Christian University and Western Carolina University.
The association is the foremost professional college band organization, akin to the NCAA's role in collegiate sports. It is comprised of a group of professionals known for artistic initiative, innovative teaching and dedicated service.
Members represent a broad constituency of collegiate faculty specialists from comprehensive research universities, state and private universities, to music conservatories.
Members also include military band conductors as well as associate members from the publishing, manufacturing and retail music industries.