New three-year composer residency for Bill Banfield at Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

Posted on: July 22, 2021

“Andrew Sewell and Bill Banfield hope to break new ground in the next three years. But in the meantime, they don’t mind revisiting an old memory: The night they ducked out of an official university party and spent the evening with Leonard Bernstein” as graduate students at the University of Michigan in 1988, writes Gayle Worland in Tuesday’s (7/20) Wisconsin State Journal. “Sewell [is] the longtime music director of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and Banfield, the orchestra’s newly appointed composer in residence…. Banfield … recently retired from a professorship at the Berklee College of Music….. Sewell contacted Banfield about the WCO performing one of Banfield’s pieces in 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic…. That chat … led to the creation of the three-year residency…. At last week’s Concert on the Square, Sewell conducted a work by Banfield … Titled ‘If Bernstein Wrote It …’ the work is one of four instrumental movements that make up Banfield’s Symphony No. 6…. As composer in residence, Banfield will be commissioned to write two pieces for the WCO, including a work for narrator and orchestra featuring the words of Frederick Douglass for summer 2022, and a symphony expected to be premiered in early 2024.”