Dr. Bruce Moss conducts the Wheaton Municipal Band. (photo courtesy of Wheaton Municipal Band)

BGSU bands director invited to lead ensemble at prestigious Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference

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BGSU Director of Bands Dr. Bruce Moss will lead the Wheaton Municipal Band, alumnus Lt. Col. Ryan Nowlin to guest conduct and serve as a clinician during 77th annual Midwest Clinic

Dr. Bruce Moss, the Bowling Green State University Director of Band Activities, is set to make waves yet again on the national music scene and represent the University's celebrated musical education programs as he leads the Wheaton Municipal Band at the 77th annual Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference on Dec. 20 in Chicago.

This esteemed event, held annually in the Windy City, attracts more than 18,000 band and orchestra directors and ensembles from around the world. Bands undergo a rigorous blind audition process to secure a coveted spot in the program, making the inclusion of the Wheaton Municipal Band a testament to Moss’ exceptional leadership and the talent of the Wheaton Municipal Band musicians, the roster of which has included several BGSU College of Musical Arts alumni over the years.

For Moss, who has led the Wheaton band for more than four decades, the honor goes beyond simply sharing his musical expertise. Adding to the momentous occasion is the presence of esteemed BGSU alumnus Lt. Col. Ryan Nowlin ’00, ’04, associate director of "The President's Own" United States Marine Band.

Nowlin will serve as a guest conductor with the Wheaton band as well as conduct a clinic during the conference titled, “What’s Your Motivation?” as he encourages attendees to explore the true purpose of music vocations and offers a wealth of ideas for musicians to consider as they make decisions about their professional, community and educational musical organizations. Nowlin earned both a bachelor’s degree in music education in 2000 and a master’s degree in music education and conducting in 2004 from BGSU.

During the clinic, Nowlin, a former student of Moss, will guest conduct one selection during the Wheaton Municipal Band's performance, further strengthening the connection between BGSU and the national music scene. At the conference, Nowlin will be promoted to conductor of the U.S. Marine Band just hours after guest conducting the Wheaton Municipal Band.

Ryan Nowlin conducting
Lt. Col. Ryan Nowlin conducts the BGSU Alumni Symphonic Band in Kobacker Hall in 2018.

This unique convergence of events marks a significant moment for the University, showcasing the excellence of its music program and its alumni on a global stage. The Midwest Clinic provides Moss and the Wheaton Municipal Band with an invaluable platform to share their musical talent with a vast audience of music educators and enthusiasts. This year’s concert also features two of the finest trumpet players in the world with the duet performance of Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians Esteban Batallan (principal) and John Hagstrom, the latter a former student of Moss.

“I am looking forward to performing with the wonderful musicians in the Wheaton Municipal Band and these fabulous guests, especially Lt. Col. Ryan Nowlin, for whom I had the fortunate opportunity to serve as a mentor during his education at BGSU. I am indeed blessed,” Moss said.

The band gained widespread recognition from its inclusion in the WGBH-TV PBS American Experience documentary “If You Knew Sousa.” Moss has led the Wheaton Municipal Band to multiple performances at the Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference and a featured performance at the 46th Annual American School Band Directors Association National Convention. The band was also highlighted by CBS News Chicago as one of Chicago’s “Hidden Gems” in a broadcast in July.

Beyond the professional accolades, Moss's dedication extends to fostering a vibrant music community in the Wheaton area. The Wheaton Municipal Band boasts a rich history dating back 94 years, and it has served as a haven for talented musicians and music lovers alike. Moss's leadership has been instrumental in preserving this tradition and ensuring the band's continued success.

The Midwest Clinic performance provides an opportunity for BGSU to celebrate the achievements of its faculty and alumni, showcasing the University's commitment to music education and artistic excellence, especially in this 100th anniversary year of BGSU Bands. In addition to his leadership at BGSU as the director of band activities, a post he has held since 1994, Moss has served as the conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra Summer Concert Band, and as music director of the Ohio Ambassadors of Music – a bi-annual European concert tour for high school honor band, choir and orchestra students. He has served on the board of directors for the American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, and Kappa Kappa Psi, and holds honorary memberships in numerous professional organizations.

In 2017, Moss received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Ohio Music Education Association and a Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association. In 2014, he was recognized by the Senate of the 98th General Assembly of the State of Illinois in recognition of his many years of work with the Wheaton Municipal Band. He is a past Stanbury Award recipient of the American School Band Directors Association’s North Central Region for the State of Illinois. He holds memberships in 13 professional organizations, including the prestigious American Bandmasters Association (ABA), into which he was inducted in 1995.

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Updated: 12/12/2023 03:52PM