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UW-Eau Claire Music Alumnus
to Visit Campus and Guest Conduct

RELEASED: Nov. 13, 2006

Dr. Russel Mikkelson
Dr. Russel Mikkelson

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Russel Mikkelson, a 1983 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's music education program and director of bands at The Ohio State University, will return to campus to speak to students and faculty Nov. 16-18. He also will appear as a guest conductor during the UW-Eau Claire Wind Symphony and Symphony Band Concert at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.

In addition to conducting the Wind Symphony and Chamber Winds at OSU, Mikkelson guides the graduate wind conducting program and oversees all aspects of the university's band program. Under his direction, the OSU Wind Symphony has performed at the 2003 College Band Directors National Association Convention and the 2001, 2004 and 2006 Ohio Music Educators Association Conventions, and has recorded two CDs on the Mark Records label: "Jubilare!" and "Sounds, Shapes and Symbols." "Winds of Nagual" is the first CD the Wind Symphony has recorded on the NAXOS label.

A strong advocate for the creation of new works, Mikkelson serves on the Big Ten Band Directors Association Commissioning Panel and has instituted a program of regular commissioning projects at OSU.

Composers Leslie Bassett, Krzysztof Penderecki, John Corigliano, Lukas Foss, Frank Ticheli, David Gillingham and others have praised Mikkelson for his musical interpretation of their compositions. Corgliano wrote, "Russel Mikkelson is a conductor who really understands my music, and that's rare. I have great admiration for his work."

Mikkelson was a conducting fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds the distinction of being that institution's first recipient of the doctor of musical arts degree in instrumental conducting. Prior to his appointment at OSU, Mikkelson was director of bands and assistant professor of music at the State University of New York-College at Fredonia, where he conducted the Wind Symphony, Concert Band, Orchestra, Opera and musical theatre productions.

A native of Wisconsin, Mikkelson began his career as a high school band director, serving from 1984-1990 as director of bands at Stevens Point Area Senior High School. His bands developed a reputation for superior musicianship coupled with a deep understanding of the music being performed. Under his leadership, the Stevens Point Wind Ensemble performed at numerous state, regional and national conventions.

Mikkelson was the 2005 recipient of The Ohio State University School of Music Distinguished Scholar Award and recently published an article in The Instrumentalist titled "Defining Success for High School Bands." Mikkelson is active internationally as a guest conductor and clinician.

Following is Mikkelson's schedule while at UW-Eau Claire:

Thursday, Nov. 16

  • 2-2:50 p.m. — Wind Symphony rehearsal in HFA 139
  • 3-3:50 p.m. — Symphony Band rehearsal in HFA 139

Friday, Nov.17

  • 11 a.m. — Available in the music and theatre arts faculty lounge for conversation with students and faculty
  • 2-3 p.m. — Wind Symphony rehearsal in Gantner Concert Hall
  • 3:15-4:15 p.m. — Symphony Band rehearsal in Gantner Concert Hall

Saturday, Nov. 18

  • 9 a.m. — Wind Symphony dress rehearsal in Gantner Concert Hall (9-9:30 - Mark Heidel; 9:30-10:30 - Mikkelson)
  • 10:30 a.m. — Symphony Band dress rehearsal in Gantner Concert Hall
  • 1:30 p.m. — Presentation to interested UW-Eau Claire students, faculty and area band directors in HFA 160

Sunday, Nov. 19

  • 5 p.m. — Wind Symphony/Symphony Band concert in Gantner Concert Hall.



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