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Bands at UCM

If you have an interest in playing in a band as a UCM student—music major or not—then we have a place for you. Whether you are performing newly commissioned compositions in Carnegie Hall with the Wind Ensemble, performing with the Boston Brass and the UCM Marching Mules in Arrowhead Stadium, or recording with the UCM Jazz Ensembles in UCM’s world renowned recording studios: your experiences with a UCM Band will be rewarding and of the highest quality. 

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Welcome to the UCM Band program

Pursell

Dr. Anthony Pursell, Director of Bands

Thank you for visiting the UCM Band Program's website. Throughout this site you will find useful information about our program, people, and the experiences you can gain as a member of the UCM Band Program. It does not matter if you plan to be a music major or one of the other majors offered on our campus - if you have an interest in continuing your music-making experience as a UCM student, we have a place for you.

Choosing a college or career path is one of the most important decisions facing high school students. The faculty and staff at UCM are committed to giving you as much relevant information as possible so you are able to make an informed decision. If you would like to receive more information about the University of Central Missouri and the Band Program, please complete this very short form. Completing this form does not obligate you to anything, but will allow us to send you information that may aid in your decision about your future.

If you plan to visit the Warrensburg campus, I am very happy to visit with you and your family. If you would let your admissions representative know that you want to meet with me, they will make certain to get your visit on my calendar. I am also happy to visit via phone or email. My direct line is 660-543-4680 and you can email me at your convenience at: apursell@ucmo.edu.

 
Brendel

Rebecca Brendel, Senior Music Education Major (Trumpet)

My choice to attend the University of Central Missouri as an Instrumental Music Education Major was sealed when I first met with the Director of Bands at the time. I am from Kingsville, a small town near Warrensburg, and felt that I would be at a disadvantage in the music department. One of my biggest worries at the time was how I would survive marching band having come from a high school without that option. As I was assured during my meeting with the director, UCM Music has showed to me that every member of the faculty will do their very best to make sure you have everything you need to succeed. Even as a commuter student, the bonds I have built within the community of faculty and students have made it clear that UCM was the right fit for me. When I graduate and begin teaching, I know that I will have resources available to me from the connections I have made through UCM Music. 

 

Please, if you have any questions, e-mail any professor and they will be happy to answer. I hope I will see you around campus, especially in UCM Music!

 
 Setser

Pat Setser, Alumna, Music Education, Associate Conductor Kansas City Wind Symphony

Many years ago I selected Central Missouri as the university I wanted to attend. I have never regretted that choice. I received an excellent education from high quality professors, who after my graduation, continued to mentor me. When those professors retired, their successors were just as friendly, supportive, and helpful as my original teachers. I gained lifelong friends and have enjoyed wonderful professional and personal relationships with many throughout these years.

Central is a school that cares about their students and their success for a lifetime. It is a place you can trust to give you straight advice and top notch instruction. I have sent many of my students to Central with full confidence that they would do well, work hard, and become successful no matter what field they chose. You always feel at home when you return. There is always a friendly face to welcome you.

 
Prospective

Tell us about your interests by completing this short prospective member form. 

 
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Click here for frequently asked questions such as...
(this will take you to a viewable Google Pages file)

  • How do I audition?
  • Are scholarships available?
  • Do I have time?
  • Do I have to be a music major to participate?

Click here to ask a question.

 


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Student Performance Opportunities

Marching Band

Marching Mules

The UCM Marching Mules have a tradition of serving the institution as the musical ambassadors for the university community. Consisting of students from almost every department and major on campus, the Marching Mules provide excitement on and off the field during the football season. All members of the Marching Mules receive a service award for their participation, and additional scholarships may be available depending on the student's performance ability and availability to audition for other UCM Music ensembles.

For more information, please contact Dr. Julia Baumanis, Director of Athletic Bands.

Basketball Pep Band

Basketball band

The UCM Basketball Pep Band performs at all men's and women's home basketball games and during postseason travel for the MIAA and NCAA tournaments. In 2018, the pep band traveled with the Jennies all the way to the National Championship game, bringing home the second title in school history.

To qualify for the Basketball Pep Band, students must be members of the UCM Marching Band for at least one semester. Current freshmen who are enrolled in Marching Band are eligible to participate.

UCM Marching Percussion

UCM Color Guard

Wind Ensemble

Wind Ensemble

 

The Wind Ensemble is UCM’s premiere concert band and is open to all UCM students by audition. The Wind Ensemble performs contemporary repertoire for wind ensemble and concert band as well as some of the most important core literature. 

Significant performances include the 2014 Southwest Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association at the University of Arkansas; 2008, 2011, 2015, and 2020 performances at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference; featured performances in New York's famed Carnegie Hall (2010 and 2016); and the UCM President's Concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Chamber Winds

 Chamber Winds

 

The UCM Chamber Winds is considered an elite ensemble, as it consists of the principal performers in the UCM Wind Ensemble.  Repertoire is chosen from both master chamber winds works, and more contemporary pieces and commissions.  The ensemble is also conducted by graduate students who are working on conducting technique in their Masters of Arts degree.

Symphonic Band

 The UCM Symphonic Band performs four concerts annually and is open to all UCM students who register for the course, regardless of major. The ensemble offers music education majors the opportunity to fulfill scholarship obligations in the spring semester and as a home for those in the Wind Ensemble to perform on a secondary instrument through audition.  In 2020, the UCM Symphonic Band became part of a commission for a new piece of music by composer Joni Greene and will perform this new work during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Jazz Band

 The UCM Jazz Bands provide an opportunity for all UCM students to experience performing Jazz at a high level. The program has two big bands, both which serve the campus and regional community in entertaining programs consisting of classic big band charts and contemporary literature. Click here for more information about UCM’s Jazz & Commercial Music Program.

 

Opportunities for Directors & Students

Festival of Champions

Festival of Champions Saturday, October 17, 2020

The UCM Bands have been proud to host 39 years of outstanding high school marching band competition in the Midwest. The competition is sanctioned by the Missouri High School Activities Association and provides an exciting opportunity for all students, their parents, and directors.

Festival of Champions

Homecoming Parade

Homecoming Parade & Band Day Saturday, October 24, 2020

 The UCM Bands host high school band programs from around the region to enjoy performing at a UCM home football game and homecoming parade in front of a large and appreciative crowd. The parade competition is sanctioned by the Missouri High School Activities Association and provides an exciting opportunity for all students.

Homecoming & Band Day

Claude Smith

Claude T. Smith Invitational Band Festival Saturday, February 27, 2021

Named after the legendary composer Claude T. Smith for his devotion to music education, wind-band literature, and UCM (CMSU) the Invitational is an opportunity for students and their director to enjoy an experience performing for a visiting composer and a large, appreciative audience. 

Invitational Festival

 

Faculty & Staff

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Pursell, Dr. Anthony

Director of Bands & Associate Professor of Music
Music
Utt 202e
apursell@ucmo.edu
(660) 543-4680

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Baumanis, Dr. Julia

Associate Director of Bands & Director of Athletic Bands
Music
Utt 202d
baumanis@ucmo.edu
(660) 543-8508

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Smith, Dr. Alex

Marching Percussion Coordinator & Assistant Professor of Music
Music
HUD 116
jasmith@ucmo.edu
(660) 543-4681

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Aaberg, Dr. David

Professor of Music, Jazz & Commercial Music
Music
HUD 118
aaberg@ucmo.edu
(660) 543-4909

Marching Band Staff
(to contact, please send an email to: bands@ucmo.edu)

  • Grigsby, Gary - Announcer
  • Fergason, Jill - Twirling Coach
  • McClaflin, Ian - Assistant Marching Percussion Coordinator
  • Wolff, Allegra - Color Guard Coordinator and Band Graduate Assistant

Alumni Relations & Giving Opportunities

 

Whether graduates of Central Missouri State University or University of Central Missouri, our alumni have a long and loyal history with their Alma Mater. Continue your legacy by giving to the Band Development Account via the UCM Alumni Foundation or to one of our many endowed scholarships.

Information about events for the 2020-2021 academic year COMING SOON!

 

Opportunities for Alumni Engagement

Homecoming

Alumni Band

 

Join alumni from the 1950s to this past year in cheering on the Mules, participating in the homecoming parade, attending the high school parade competition awards ceremony, cheering on the football team from the stands, and participating in our halftime show (no worries, we will limit the marching!). Register with the alumni band board by clicking here and enjoy a few hours with fellow alumni and current students at Homecoming!

 

Alumni Band Concert

Alumni Band

Rekindle relationships with colleagues old and new. This annual event brings alumni back to the Warrensburg campus to have a few hours of fun and music making in Hendricks Hall. To register for the Alumni Band Concert, please click here.

Warrensburg Community Band; Summer Schedule

WCB Photo

Contact Dr. Russell Coleman, Director: bands@ucmo.edu

History of the UCM Bands

 

The first band at what is now known as the University of Central Missouri was formed during the 1899-1900 academic year by Robert Zoll, an Instructor in Drawing. By 1904 there were two bands, and in 1909, under the direction of David W. Schlosser, the band was playing at chapel and for basketball games. The band acquired uniforms with navy-blue coats and hats in 1915 while R. J. Meyer was the director.  

Don Essig, who established a strong reputation as a director of circus and vaudeville bands, served as conductor from 1920 to 1941. Mr. Essig acquired a large collection of historic musical instruments and vaudeville-style sound-producing novelty devices such as alarm clocks, canes, and more. These are now a renowned permanent collection housed in the Kirkpatrick Library and the Utt Music Building on UCM campus. From the 1920s-1960s, student groups toured Greater Kansas City presenting programs in high schools and communities using these instruments.

Clifton A. Burmeister further developed UCM Bands as Director of Bands in 1945 when many World War II veterans with strong performance skills returned to school. The following members of the band during this period achieved state and/or national recognition: Frank Fendorf (high school band director at Chillicothe, Vice President of Wingert-Jones Music, Inc., Honorary Associate Member of the American Bandmasters Association); Edgar Summerlin (composer of the first Jazz Mass which was shown nationally on NBC Television); William [Bill] G.  Mack (high school band director at Park Hill, Director of Bands at Missouri Western University, President of Missouri Music Educators Association); Lowell H. Brunner (high school band director at Odessa and at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis); and Tom Price (high school band director at Cameron). Fendorf, Mack, Brunner and Price are all elected members to the Missouri Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame. Mack, Brunner and Price are elected members to the Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. Further indication of the band’s excellence may be found in the band library where compositions by Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, Felix Mendelssohn, and similar composers were added during Burmeister’s tenure.

In 1947 the school was emerging from World War II, and the Navy training program held on the campus during wartime was being deactivated. The college was in the process of developing a new school spirit, and Dean I. L. Peters approached Clifton Burmeister, Director of Bands, and told him a school fight song was needed for the football game the next weekend. The composition, Go Mules!, was written over the weekend by Burmeister and has been adopted as the official school fight song. Mr. Burmeister was a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and later said that he patterned the song after the Northwestern Fight Song. The original score is framed and is on display in the Utt Music Building Instrumental Rehearsal Room. The current arrangement was written by David Holsinger in 1967. David was a graduate assistant with the band and a composition major. The extended second ending was written by Dr. Russell Coleman the same year.

Burmeister

The University Alma Mater was the winning entry in a 1962 contest and was composed by William S. Stoney, a Music Department faculty member. The words are by Carole Grainer. The current arrangement was written by Dr. Russell Coleman.

The program remained relatively stable until a new era began under the leadership of Dr. Eugene Rousseau (1962-64). The university began to experience enormous growth and larger numbers of instrumental music majors arrived on campus.

Dr. Russell Coleman became Director of Bands in 1964. The first time a band from Central played at a state, regional, or national event was in 1969 when the Concert Band was invited to present a concert at the Southwestern Division Conference of the Music Educators National Conference in St. Louis. Previously, the only off-campus concerts by Central Bands were occasional tours to play at regional high schools.    This concert established the Central Concert Band as a major ensemble at the state, regional, and later national level. Since that time, they have been invited to present concerts at ten MMEA programs, a second SWMENC concert, a Southwestern Division Conference program for CBDNA, and twice at the International Convention of the American Bandmasters Association. Nineteen members of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association have been guest conductors with the Concert Band.

mbold

Beginning in the mid 1970s the band developed a close relationship with Frank Erickson and Claude T. Smith, nationally recognized composers of music for the concert band. The UCM Band recorded many of their new compositions for distribution by the Summit Publishing Company and the Wingert-Jones Publishing Company. The band also recorded over 150 new compositions for the Belwin Publishing Company for use in their promotions. The Frank Erickson and Claude T. Smith Library containing their publications is housed in the Utt Music Building.

During his tenure as Director of Bands, Dr. Coleman was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. After his retirement, he was elected to the Missouri Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame and the Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame.

In the Spring of 2010 & 2016 the University Wind Ensemble presented concerts in Carnegie Hall in New York City under the direction of Dr. Scott Lubaroff..

The Marching Mules gained widespread recognition through their performances at professional sporting events. The first performance was for a Kansas City Chiefs game in 1963 and since that time they have performed 40 times for the Chiefs at Municipal and Arrowhead Stadiums. Their performances have been covered by ABC, CBS and NBC television. The Marching Mules performed four times for the St. Louis Cardinals. Performances for the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Athletics Baseball teams including the opening game three times, the American League Championship Playoffs, and the World Series.

Graduates include numerous public school band directors, university applied music professors, and currently five university band directors. Two graduates of the program, Dr. David Holsinger and Dr. Gordon Ring, have been winners of prestigious national band composition contests.

The following have served as Director of Bands:

1899-1909 Robert L. Zoll

1909-1911 David Schlosser

1911-1913 Orley H. See

1913-1918 R. J. Meyer

1918-1919 Josephine Dixon

1920-1941 Don Essig

1941-1945 Al Bleckschmidt

1945 Marion Davies

1945-1952 Clifton A. Burmeister

1952-1956 Frank W. Lidral

1956-1962 Donald O. Braatz

1962-1964 Dr. Eugene Rousseau

1964-1996 Dr. Russell Coleman

1996-2004 Dr. Patrick Casey

2004-2005 Dr. Robert Gifford, Acting Director

2005-2017 Dr. Scott Lubaroff

2017-Present Dr. Anthony Pursell

 

Submitted May 5, 2010 by:

Dr. Russell Coleman

Director of Bands (1964-1996)

Central Missouri State University


Sources of material include information found in the University Rhetor housed in the University Kirkpatrick Library, and information provided by Frank Fendorf and Dr. Scott Lubaroff.

 

Contact

Anthony Pursell
Director of Bands
Utt 202E
Tel: (660) 543-4680

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