Toccata for Band: Score and Parts by Robert Washburn

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Robert Washburn
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Toccata for Band: Score and Parts

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Book review

Toccata for Band is the third of three pieces commissioned by and dedicated to the Symphonic Band of the State University College at Plattsburgh, N.Y., James B. Miller, conductor. The other two works -- Intrada and Chorale -- are available from the publisher. American composer Robert Brooks Washburn (1928-1913) was born in Bouckville, N.Y., and studied the New York State Teachers College at Potsdam and Columbia University until his enlistment in 1950. Washburn served until 1954 playing percussion and string bass, and as staff arranger for the 539th Air Force Band stationed at Lackland Field in San Antonio. During this time, Washburn studied composition with Normand Lockwood at Trinity University in San Antonio. Following his military service, Washburn joined the faculty at Potsdam teaching music theory, string bass, and composition. Washburn also studied Bernard Rogers, Howard Hanson, and Alan Hovhaness at Eastman. Washburn also had the opportunity to study with Darius Milhaud at the Aspen in the summer of 1959 and in Paris with Nadia Boulanger in 1964. In 1960, Washburn was awarded a one-year leave of absence at SUNY-Potsdam to participate in the "Young Composers Project", sponsored by the Ford Foundation and headed by composer, Norman dello Joio. Washburn then returned to Potsdam spending a 40-year teaching and administrative career at the Crane School of Music, retiring from full-time teaching in 1995. The music of Robert Washburn has been performed by major symphony orchestras in the United States and abroad, and his music for concert band has been played throughout the country ranging from middle school bands to prestigious college wind ensembles. Washburn's oeuvre contains over 150 published compositions, including many works for chorus. Music for the opening ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. was written by him.

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