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American Band College comes to town

The 240-member American Band College Directors' Band will — present its 16th annual concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 26, 8 p.m. at — the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford.

When the American Band College was founded in 1989 by — former music professor Max McKee, there were just six students. This year — the number has risen to 240. Too many to fit on stage at once, ABC Directors' — Band has been divided into two bands, each performing one-half of the — program.

Members of the bands are college and high school band — directors from around the United States and several foreign countries. — Guest conductors for the concert will be Toshio Akiyama from Japan and — Pierre Kuijpers from Holland.

Akiyama is past president of the Japanese Band Directors — Association, the Asia and Pacific Band Directors Association, and is active — in the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. He is also — an Honorary member of the American Bandmasters Association and retired — conductor of the Sony Concert Band.

Kuijpers was principal conductor of the Royal Military — Band of the Netherlands at the Hague from 1986 to 1995. Since 1997, he — has served as the principal conductor of the national youth band orchestra — of North-Rhine/ Westphalia in Germany.

Guest soloist for the Craterian Concert is the Capitol — Sax Quartet from Baltimore, MD. comprised of saxophonists who are alumni — of premiere military bands and teaching faculty at leading music schools — in the United States.

Formed in 1991, the Capitol Sax Quartet 1994, the Capitol — Sax Quartet won the Baltimore Chamber Music Awards Competition in 1994.

American Band College members are attending two one-week — sessions at Southern Oregon University, taking courses from 28 teachers, — clinicians, conductors and composers of band music. Courses are offered — in percussion, brass, woodwind and conducting.

Most participants are here working on a three-year masters — degree program; some come back after graduating for more learning and — to remain part of the ABC "family."

Preparation for the two sessions begins several months — before hand and a thesis is due five weeks afterwards.

The Craterian concert takes place at the end of the first — week's session; the Ashland July Fourth Fireworks concert takes place — at the end of the second week.

Tickets for the Craterian performance are $15 for adults, — $7 for children 12 and under, and $11 for seniors 62 and over. Tickets — are available through the Craterian box office at 779-3000, at Cripple — Creek Music or on-line at www.bandworld.org.