LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2013) — John Cody Birdwell, director of bands at the University of Kentucky, has been elected into the membership of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA). Founded in 1929, with John Philip Sousa as honorary life president, the organization recognizes outstanding achievement on the part of concert band conductors and composers.
The current membership of the ABA is comprised of approximately 300 band conductors and composers in the U.S. and Canada, who are elected into the organization through a selective and rigorous nomination process. Birdwell was nominated by ABA past presidents James Keene, director of bands emeritus at the University of Illinois, and Paula Crider, associate director of bands emeritus at the University of Texas, and current ABA President David Waybright, director of bands at the University of Florida. The ABA induction ceremony will take place in March 2014, in Montgomery, Ala.
Birdwell is a native of New Mexico and has served as director of bands at UK since 2004. At UK, his primary responsibilities include conducting the UK Wind Symphony, supervising doctoral and master degree programs in wind conducting; teaching graduate courses in instrumental conducting, history and literature; and supervising the administration of the UK Bands program in the School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. Prior to his appointment at UK, Birdwell served as director of bands at Texas Tech University, director of bands at Utah State University, assistant director of bands at the University of Illinois, and director of bands at Northern Michigan University.
Under Birdwell’s leadership, the UK Wind Symphony performed at the 2013 National Conference for the College Band Directors National Association in Greensboro, N.C., and in May 2008 the ensemble successfully completed a 10-day concert tour of the People’s Republic of China as part of festivities leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Several of the UK Wind Symphony recordings have been nominated for Grammy consideration.
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