William Banfield, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s composer in residence, connects with local students

Posted on: November 1, 2021

“Ella Fitzgerald’s voice took a group of East High School students through decades of musical genres Wednesday afternoon,” writes Scott Girard in (10/28) Cap Times (Madison, WI). “Bill Banfield, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s first-ever composer-in-residence for the next three years, queued up the tune to show the dozens of orchestra and band students in his audience how one singer can cross genres, highlighting the similarities and differences between a variety of musical styles…. ‘As a visiting musician, one of the first stops should be the local high schools … because if I’m going to make music that matters, it has to connect,’ Banfield said. ‘The first place of connection is the younger generation.’ Banfield began in his role in July, with a plan to compose ‘two major works’ for the chamber orchestra and the greater Madison community while here for the next three years. He stressed the importance of that community portion of the role, and music’s connection to communities generally, during his visit Wednesday. ‘For me as a musician, I’ve always been interested in how music and education really does frame where we’re going as human beings,’ Banfield said.”