Midnight Specials

Beginning in 1986, the Big Ten Band Directors Association began sponsoring a session each year at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Because the Midwest Clinic had grown so much since its move to the Conrad Hilton in 1973, space was limited, and fitting another session during the day was very difficult. So, the BTBDA’s clinic was typically held late at night on Wednesday of the clinic, usually from 11 p.m. to midnight in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton and Towers. They called it the “Midnight Special.” According to H. Robert Reynolds, these sessions were intended to “push the Midwest [Clinic] in a more serious musical direction.” 

 

The Midnight Special sessions typically featured a prominent composer, a moderator (usually a Big Ten band director), and often, a professional band (which was already performing at the clinic) to perform selected excerpts of the composer’s work(s). Usually, the band would be from one of the service branches (i.e. U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, etc.). However, the Michigan State University Band, Austin Symphonic Band, The Northshore Concert Band, Illinois State University Wind Symphony, and the Dallas Wind Symphony have all served in this capacity. 

 

The following is a list of the Midnight Special Sessions and other sessions at the Midwest Clinic sponsored by the Big Ten Band Directors Association since 1986:

 

Date: December 17, 1986
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: Grand Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: Mid-Nite Special: “Conversation with Michael Colgrass”
Composer: Michael Colgrass
Demonstration Ensemble: Michigan State University Band (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor)

 

Date: December 16, 1987
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: Grand Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: Mid-Nite Special: “Conversation and Analysis of the Music of Karel Husa”

Composer: Karel Husa
Demonstration Ensemble: U.S Navy Band

 

Date: December 14, 1988
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: Grand Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)

Title: Mid-Nite Special: “The Composer and His Music”

Composer: Warren Benson
Demonstration Ensemble: U.S Marine Band

 

Date: December 13, 1989
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: Grand Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)

Title: Mid-Nite Special: “The Music of Gunther Schuller”

Composer: Gunther Schuller
Demonstration Ensemble: U.S. Army Band

 

Date: December 19, 1990
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: Grand Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: Mid-Nite Special: “And the Mountains Rising Nowhere, Pathways to 
Performance”

Composer: Joseph Swantner

Moderator: Jeffrey Renshaw

Demonstration Ensemble: U.S. Air Force Band (Lt. Col. James M. Bankhead, conductor) 

 

Date: December 18, 1991

Time: 6 to 7 p.m.
Location: Williford Room (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: “Mozart Wind Music—Two Hundred Years Later: Issues Associated with the
Performance of Mozart’s Wind Music”

Moderator: Daniel Leeson

 

Date: December 18, 1991
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: Grand Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)

Title: “The Mozart Grand Partita”
Composer: N/A
Moderator: Daniel Leeson
Demonstration Ensemble: U.S. Coast Guard Band

 

Date: December 16, 1992
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: Grand Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: Mid-Nite Special: “A Discussion and Performance of Warren Benson’s 
‘Adagietto’ with Regard to Expressive Wind Playing”

Composer: Warren Benson

Demonstration Ensemble: U.S. Navy Band

 

Date: December 15, 1993
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: Grand Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: Mid-Nite Special: “An Analysis of the Composer’s Composition, ‘Three City 
Blocks”

Composer: John Harbison

Demonstration Ensemble: U.S. Marine Band

 

Date: December 20, 1995
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: Grand Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)

Title: Mid-Nite Special: “Fisher A. Tull—A Celebration”

Moderator: John P. Paynter
Demonstration Ensemble: U.S. Air Force Band

 

Date: December 18, 1996
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: International Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)

Title: Midnight Special “The Music of Karel Husa”*

Composer: Karel Husa
Demonstration Ensemble: U.S. Navy Band

*paid for by Midwest Clinic; BTBDA retained sponsorship

 

Date: December 18 1997

Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: International Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)

Title: Midnight Special: “Looking Beyond the Notes”

Composer: Frank Ticheli
Demonstration Ensemble: Austin Symphonic Band

 

Date: December 16, 1999
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: International Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: Midnight Special: “Problems and Pleasures of Composing for Wind Ensemble 
and Voice”

Composer: Daron Hagen

Demonstration Ensemble: Northshore Concert Band (John Lynch, conductor)

 

Date: December 21, 2000
Time: 11 p.m. to Midnight
Location: International Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: Midnight Special: “American Icons”
Composer: Michael Daugherty
Demonstration Ensemble: U.S. Air Force Band (Col. Lowell E. Graham, conductor)

 

Date: December 19, 2003
Time: 6 to 7 p.m.
Location: International Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)

Title: “A Conversation with Karel Husa”*
Composer: Karel Husa
Moderator: H. Robert Reynolds

*cancelled after program was printed; H. Robert Reynolds led session

 

Date: December 15, 2005
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 p.m.
Location: International Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: “An Evening of Music”
Composer: Karel Husa
Demonstration Ensemble: Illinois State University Wind Symphony (Stephen Steele, 
conductor)

 

Date: December 20, 2006
Time: 10:30-11:30 p.m.
Location: International Ballroom (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: Circus Maximus
Composer: John Corigliano
Demonstration Ensemble: Dallas Wind Symphony (Jerry Junkin, conductor)

 

Date: December 21, 2006

Time: 10 to 11 p.m.
Location: Williford Room (Chicago Hilton and Towers)
Title: Midnight Special: “A Conversation with Gunther Schuller”

Composer: Gunther Schuller
Moderator: Craig Kirchhoff

 

Date: December 16, 2010
Time: 1 to 2 p.m.
Location: Skyline Ballroom- W375E (McCormick Place West)
Title: “A Discussion of William Bolcom’s First Symphony for Band”

Composer: William Bolcom
Moderator: Michael Haithcock
Demonstration “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band

 

Date: December 19, 2013
Time: 3 to 4 p.m.
Location: W185 (McCormick Place West)
Title: “Legends of the Big Ten” Part 1
Panel: Ray E. Cramer, Myron Welch, John Whitwell, and Al G. Wright (did not attend)

Moderator: Jay Gephart

 

Date: December 18, 2014
Time: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Location: W185 (McCormick Place West)
Title: “Legends of the Big Ten” Part 2
Panel: H. Robert Reynolds, James F. Keene, and Kenneth G. Bloomquist

Moderator: Richard Mark Heidel

Date: December 21, 2017
Time: 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Location: TBD (McCormick Place West)
Title: “Karel Husa: A Retrospective"
Clinicians: Scott Teeple, Mallory Thompson, H. Robert Reynolds, Stephen G. Peterson, Frank Battisti, Mark Scatterday