The Southeast Iowa Band, under the direction of Bob McConnell is playing a benefit concert for the Fairfield Concert Association at the Sondheim Theater.
The SOUTHEAST IOWA BAND is a 50 piece regional ensemble sponsored by Iowa Wesleyan University. The Band is a group of winds and percussion instruments and features a program with a variety of music—classical, pops, show tunes, marches and folk music—presented in an entertaining fashion.
Many of the SEIB members perform and teach professionally throughout the region. Much of the group includes adults who travel long distance because they are dedicated to performing in a band of the highest quality.
The SEIB is under the direction of Robert McConnell who first started working with the group in the fall of 1982. Mr. McConnell often gives the audience a dialogue and some musical demonstrations that greatly enhance the program. McConnell has conducted both the Southeast Iowa Symphony and the Southeast Iowa Band for over 25 years. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Truman State University and a Master of Arts degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In addition to these two groups, Mr. McConnell has a great deal of experience conducting musical theater, chamber groups, and jazz ensembles. He has served as a guest clinician for a variety of school honor groups. He also worked as Associate Professor of oboe at both the University of Iowa and Western Illinois University.
Mr. McConnell's primary instrument is the oboe. He performed 26 seasons as the Principal Oboe of the Quad Cities symphony. As an undergraduate, he performed in the top jazz band at Truman State in the Saxophone section.
Fairfield Concert Association
The FAIRFIELD CONCERT ASSOCIATION was established in 1948. Adult memberships for the first year were $5.00, and student memberships were $2.50. Three concerts were presented during that first season. In the 1950's and '60's, the Association partnered with Parsons College, and with this added revenue the budget was quadrupled, thus making a more ambitious schedule possible.
Parsons lost its accreditation in 1966, the Concert Association lost the backing it had enjoyed, and reorganization was necessary. Bill and Pat Medley, duo pianists and Artists-in-Residence at the college, suggested we contact Allied Concerts of Minneapolis. In 1972, we signed with Allied to provide the talent for our program selection, and we have continued this alliance to the present time.
The Association strives to provide varied, entertaining concerts, but rising costs have always been a definite concern. In 1985, a gift of $10,000 in memory of Leo D. and May Fisher Thoma made it possible to establish an Endowment Fund, the interest from which was to be used for programming. This original gift to the Endowment Fund has since been supplemented by contributions from individuals, businesses, and organizations.
Today, the funds received from membership, are not only enhanced by interest from the Endowment Fund, but also by memorial gifts, contributions from Patrons (gifts beyond membership), and by Sponsors (those individuals or groups who wish to sponsor a specific concert).