ROCHESTER, NY — Just a week before its grand celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Eastman Wind Ensemble — and after an extensive national search — the Eastman School of Music has chosen a successor to Donald Hunsberger, who is retiring in May after 37 years of conducting the School’s Wind Ensemble and leading it to international prominence.
Mark Davis Scatterday has been appointed professor of conducting and ensembles at Eastman and conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, effective July 1, 2002. Scatterday, who received his doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from Eastman in 1989, has directed wind ensembles and orchestras throughout North America and Japan, and currently is professor of music at Cornell University and chair of its music department. There he conducts the university’s wind ensemble, chamber orchestra, wind symphony, chamber winds, and festival orchestra. He also is one of the principal conductors of Ensemble X, a professional contemporary music ensemble that performed in Carnegie Hall earlier this month.
“Finding someone with the experience, talent, and skill to take the helm of one the world’s finest wind ensembles was no easy task,” said Eastman School Director and Dean James Undercofler. “Mark Scatterday is a tremendous choice, and the ideal person to lead the Wind Ensemble into the 21st century.”
Scatterday has studied conducting with Hunsberger, David Effron, Sydney Hodkinson, Carl St. Clair, H. Robert Reynolds, and Richard Jackoboice. Before attending Eastman, he received his bachelor’s degree in music education and performance from the University of Akron (OH) and his master’s degree in trombone performance from the University of Michigan. In addition to his position at Cornell — where he teaches conducting, music theory, and low brass performance — Scatterday maintains an active guest conducting schedule, and researches and writes on score analysis, performance practices, and conducting. His interests range from Venetian Renaissance wind music to the wind and percussion music of Karel Husa. His articles have been published in the CBDNA Journal, Band Director’s Guide, and WindWorks (a publication dealing with new compositions, research, and performance practices for the wind band), of which he is senior editor.
An advocate of contemporary music, Scatterday has commissioned numerous compositions for wind band, including Sydney Hodkinson’s Duo Cantatae Breves (1995), Roberto Sierra’s Diferencias (1997), Steven Burke’s Knots (1998), and James Mattheson’s Burn (2001). He has conducted, performed, and/or collaborated with recording artists and performers including Al Vizzutti, Robert Sullivan, Dennis Smith, Dale Underwood, Donald Hunsberger, Frederick Fennell, Rhythm and Brass, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wooster Symphony, the Detroit Chamber Winds, and many others. He recently conducted the premiere recording of Roberto Sierra’s Cancionero Sefardi with members of the Milwaukee Symphony on Fleur De Son Classics. In addition, he is a member of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), the Conductors Guild, Music Educators National Conference (MENC), and World Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles (WASBE).
“Mark is well equipped to assume leadership of the Eastman Wind Ensemble,” said Hunsberger. “He is an excellent conductor with warm communication skills. His musical knowledge ranges from early ensemble music to premieres of some of America’s finest composers. I am confident that he will take the Wind Ensemble and its rich history to even higher levels.”
Appropriately, Scatterday is involved in the Eastman Wind Ensemble’s golden anniversary conference and celebration, to be held at the Eastman School from February 6-9. He previously had been scheduled to present two sessions for conference attendees with composer Karel Husa. Now he also will conduct Husa’s Percussion Concerto (featuring the Nexus percussion ensemble) at the gala concert in Eastman Theatre at 8 p.m., Friday, February 8. (The Wind Ensemble, conducted by Hunsberger, also will perform the world premiere of a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Bernard Rands, as well as works by Verne Reynolds, Richard Rodney Bennett, Richard Wagner, and W.A. Mozart.) Both Frederick Fennell, founder of the Wind Ensemble, and A. Clyde Roller, who served as conductor for two years before Hunsberger, will be on hand for the celebration — thereby fully representing the Wind Ensemble’s past, present, and future. The concert is free and open to the public.
Founded in 1952, the Eastman Wind Ensemble is America’s leading wind ensemble and pioneering force in the symphonic wind band movement throughout the world. It is well known for its historic recordings and its long tradition of touring, both nationally and internationally. It is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from the Eastman School of Music.
Note to editors: Interviews with and a photograph of Mark Scatterday are available.