Arts & Culture

UK Bands open season with concert in memory of Professor George Boulden

George Boulden in front of UK Symphony Band
UK Bands will honor the memory of its director, George Boulden, at its opening concert Sept. 18.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2022) —​ On Sunday, Sept. 18 at 3 p.m., the University of Kentucky Wind Symphony and Symphony Band will present a concert in memory of the late Professor George R. Boulden III (1961-2022), associate director of Bands at the University of Kentucky and former director of the UK Wildcat Marching Band, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The memorial concert is free and open to the public.

With the departure and untimely death of Professor Boulden, the UK Bands as a program made several necessary changes to the administrative leadership, teaching assignments and ensemble conducting responsibilities throughout the program. One change is that starting Fall 2022, Shayna Stahl, D.M.A., will serve as associate director of Bands while continuing in her role as director of Athletic Bands in the UK Bands program. Stahl will also serve as conductor of the UK Symphony Band, continuing the rich traditions of musical and educational excellence established by Boulden during his long and celebrated tenure at the University of Kentucky.  

The music selected for the Sept. 18 "George Boulden Memorial Concert" is intended to celebrate the life of an exceptional man, husband, father, educator and musician. Many of the works to be performed on the program were favorites of Boulden — works that he performed with his ensembles on many different occasions over the years.   

Boulden served as associate director of Bands at the University of Kentucky from 1995-2022. He was the conductor of the Wildcat Marching Band from 1995-2008 and the Symphony Band from 1995-2022. He most recently enjoyed working with student teachers in the UK School of Music. He previously taught for nine years in the South Carolina and Florida public school systems. Boulden was selected as the 2011 Kentucky Music Educators Association College/University Teacher of the Year Award recipient, received the 2014 Outstanding Bandmaster Award from the Psi Chapter of Phi Beta Mu and was twice named a Teacher Who Made a Difference by the UK College of Education. He was most recently honored as an inductee into the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame in February of 2022. Boulden served as a clinician for the Conn-Selmer Music Education Support Network and served as an adjudicator for Music for All/Bands of America, Drum Corps International, and for many state and regional marching band championships throughout the United States. He was a frequent visitor, clinician and guest conductor for many bands throughout Kentucky and across the state and the nation. 

Music education junior Juliana Boulden, George Boulden’s daughter and a member of the UK Wind Symphony, will be performing with the UK Wind Symphony on oboe and English horn.  

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.