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Wartburg Wind Ensemble to perform at Iowa Bandmaster's Conference

The Wartburg College Wind Ensemble.

WAVERLY, Iowa – The Wartburg College Wind Ensemble has been selected to perform during the 2020 Iowa Bandmaster’s Conference.

The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Craig Hancock, will perform Thursday, May 14, at 5 p.m., at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown. The band will play selections from its spring tour through the Midwest. The performance is free and open to the public.

Wind Ensemble members include: Haley Varo of Cedar Rapids, Trevor Krug of Dysart, Weston Krug of Dysart and Kassie Hennings of Dysart.

Private Iowa colleges can apply every other year to perform during the prestigious conference. Only one school is selected biennially through a blind audition based on submitted recordings. The Wind Ensemble was last selected for this coveted spot in 2000. In 2018, the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform as a clinic band during a conference presentation with young conductors.

“It is an honor to be chosen, a dream come true and a fantastic opportunity for the Wind Ensemble, its members and for the college,” Hancock said. “Our alums will be proud, for sure. Some of them were in the band when we played at this conference in 2000, and others have had the opportunity for their groups to perform on this stage.

“Everyone knows the work and dedication it takes to get to this experience. It’s easy to tell someone how great Wartburg College is — it’s another thing to show them. We look forward to showcasing Wartburg students.”

The Wartburg College Wind Ensemble is an auditioned 58-member group made up of the finest of the college’s wind and percussion players. Its members are freshman through seniors and represent nearly every academic area on campus. Under Hancock’s direction, the Wind Ensemble has traveled the globe from Carnegie Hall to London, Munich, Prague, Tokyo, Beijing, and many points between. Each spring the ensemble tours for a week — two of three years domestically, followed by a month-long international tour in the third year.

The IBA conference is a yearly gathering of Iowa band directors from elementary to college-level ensembles.

Wartburg, a four-year liberal arts college internationally recognized for community engagement, enrolls 1,505 students. Wartburg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and named after the castle in Germany where Martin Luther took refuge disguised as a knight during the stormy days of the Reformation while translating the Bible from Greek into German.