Interview with Frank Ticheli

Wind band music is something many composers, particularly those of us studying in Texas, feel a special bond with. Whether it is because we grew up and cut our teeth playing in the ensemble in school, or because we believe in its potential to be a uniquely American rival the orchestra, it is an ensemble and a literature that holds great meaning. Which makes Frank Ticheli, one of the most prolifically performed composers for wind ensemble, a meaningful person to meet.

Nuts and Bolts contributor and avid wind band enthusiast Mike Mikulka once said that he was “born to interview Frank Ticheli.” This conversation makes it hard to disagree. Ticheli spent a week in residence at the University of Texas at Austin where the wind ensemble performed his masterpiece “Angels in the Architecture” and the new music ensemble performed “Songs of Love and Life.” Frank Ticheli tells about his compositional process, what has changed about wind ensemble music in the past decade, where he thinks the genre is going, how to avoid being stereotyped in a specific musical style, and his philosophy of teaching. Ticheli is wonderfully transparent and articulate about letting listeners in on his process, to the point where composers, performers, and non-musicians alike can all gain something valuable from this conversation.

Original air date: Monday October 28th, 2013 on Nuts and Bolts Music on KVRX in Austin.

Music featured: Blue Shades – University of Illinois Symphony – Frank Ticheli – “The Wind Symphony – Carnegie Hall Vol. 1”

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