Arts & Culture

UK to Host American Bandmasters Association's 83rd Convention

photo of United State Marine Band
UK School of Music will host the 83rd annual American Bandmasters Association convention March 7-12, in Lexington. As part of the convention, the United State Marine Band will give a free public concert. Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Defense.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2017) The University of Kentucky School of Music will host the 83rd annual American Bandmasters Association (ABA) convention March 7-12, in Lexington. As part of the ABA convention approximately 500 members of the association, guest artists, ensemble musicians, and family guests representing 42 states and four Canadian provinces will be in town for organizational meetings and five free public concerts featuring nationally recognized bands.

The American Bandmasters Association, founded in 1929, with John Philip Sousa as honorary life president, recognizes outstanding achievement on the part of concert band conductors and composers. The current membership (invitational) comprises approximately 300 band conductors and composers in the U.S. and Canada, and 80 associate members (music businesses and corporations that provide significant services to bands and to the publication of band music).

"Membership in the American Bandmasters Association is considered the highest honor achievable by American bandsmen; it recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of concert bands, and membership is awarded to individuals through a stringent vetting and electoral process by the active membership," said John Cody Birdwell, director of UK Bands and organizer of the 2017 ABA convention.

As part of the convention, five free public concerts will be presented featuring ensembles from UK; Dobyns-Bennett High School, in Kinsgport, Tennessee; Ohio State University; and University of Louisville, as well as the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band. All five concerts will be presented at UK's Singletary Center for the Arts.

For more information on the convention agenda or the concerts, visit the ABA convention site at

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

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