Review of the 16th conference of IGEB in Oberwölz / Styria

Robert Grechesky

The International Society for the Promotion and Investigation of Wind Music (IGEB) celebrated its 30th anniversary  at its 16th biennual conference in Oberwölz, Austria from July 8 – 13, 2004. The conference was a tremendous success in every aspect; interesting and informative papers, the beautiful mountains of the Styrian region of Austria, great organization, and incredible hospitality from the host city and region.

The city of Oberwölz, the smallest city in Styria, is 700 years old and its 25’ high wall still surrounds the city. The Austrian band museum, the building in which the conference was held, was actually constructed with the original outer wall of the city as one of its interior walls!  It is a beautiful city, nestled in the Mur valley at the foot of the Wölz mountain range.

Bernhard Habla, President of the IGEB, organized a wonderful meeting around the theme of “Wind Music – Museum: Heritage and Inspiration for the Present and Future.” That was the title of the paper Dr. Habla gave as the first presenter of the conference.

Among the American presenters were 

Scott Stewart (Wind Band Literature as a Vital Component in the Study of Music History)

Raoul Camus (Military Musicians in English and French Prints of the 18th and 19th centuries)

Helena Simonett (Mexican Band Music in a New Key) 

Patrick Jones (A History of the U.S. Armed Forces School of Music

Jill Sullivan (Segregation in the United States Army: The 400th and 404th WAC Bands) Dianna Eiland (Percy Grainger at the University of Kansas

Scott Weiss (Paul Hindemith and the Genesis of the Symphony in B Flat for Concert Band),

Patrick Warfield (The Essence of “Uncle Sam”: John Philip Sousa’s 1910-1911 World Tour

Denise Odello (The Formation of Group Identity and the Brass Band Movement in Britain, 1840-1910)

Jon  Mitchell  (The Braunschweiger Scores: Weingartner and Leinsdorf on Beethoven's Eroica Winds)

Paul Niemisto (The Brass Septet in Finland Today, Modern Revivals of Old Traditions).

Other presenters came from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Bulgaria, Israel, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Finland. Presenters and their papers included: 

Francis Pieters (Belgium) The ‘Société Royale de la Grande Harmonie’. A Famous Brussels 19th-Century Wind Band

Helmut Brenner (Austria) Sanctuary and Battlefield. Use and Function of Aztec and Mayan Instruments in Pre-Conquest Mexico

Manfred Heidler (Germany) Symphony of the Heavens: The Music of the German Luftwaffe 

Archim Hofer (Germany) An Investigation of Military Music in National Socialist Germany

Christoph Justinger (Germany) Solo Works for Percussion and Wind Orchestra

Jeremy S. Brown (Canada) The Grainger-Cowell Prison Dialogues and the Origins of Henry Cowell’s Celtic Set (1938) 

Anatoliy Gabrov (Bulgaria) The Life Work of Diko Iliev

Joseph Hartmann (Israel) The Composer Kamillo Lendvay and his Works for Wind Orchestra

Keith Kinder (Canada) New Light on Wagner’s “Trauermusik”

Erwin Nigg (Switzerland) Darius Milhaud’s La Crétion du Monde with stage production by Fernand Léger. Based on a reconstruction of the original Ballet Anmerkungen .

Kari Laitinen (Finland) Harmoniemusik and the Finnish Military Bands in the 18th Century

Zoltán Falvy (Hungary) Turkish Military Music (Mehter Orchestra) A Reconstruction

Karl Vigl (Italy) Wind Music in Liturgical Music of the South Tyrol in the 19th c.

Jana Lengova (Slovakia)  Military Conductor Josef Striczl and his Work in Pressburg/Bratislava

Marianna Bardiova (Slovakia) The Story of Military Music in Banská Bystrica, home of the museam of music archives of Slovakia

Livia Kammel (Germany) The Karpaten March of Johann Mory (1892-1978)

Wolfgang Suppan (Austria)   Field Music and Turkish Music in Styria in the 18th century

Elisabeth Arnsberger (Austria) the Military Music of Eduard Pfleger in the Vienna City and State Library

Gunther Joppig (Germany) Theoretical-practical demonstration of high voice woodwind instuments

The mix of scholars, conductors, and performers from all over the world created a wonderful environment for the sharing and exchange of ideas. The friendship and camaraderie that was so evident throughout the week was certainly aided by the incredible hospitality of the city and regional tourist and band organizations. Receptions every night featured local foods, wines and beers, and brought everyone together in an informal setting for good conversation and fellowship. One of the highlights of the week was the mountain hike. A bus took us all the way up to the very top of the mountain from where we all walked down in the crisp, clean air. Of course, every 10 minutes or so we would come to a rest-house where the local folks filled us with food and drinks, and entertained us with non-stop local folk music.  A spectacular day!

Each day ended with a fine concert. The Styrian Brass Quintet played a fantastic concert/show on the second night of the conference, almost 3/4 of it memorized; the local town band of Winklern-Oberwölz  gave us a sampling of Austrian folk music, marches, polkas, and songs; and the conference closed with a concert by the Military Band of Carinthia, conducted by Colonel Sigismund Seidl. The band performed on authentic historical Austrian instruments from around 1900, and played marches from “Historical Marches and other Compositions for the Imperial and Royal Army,” edited by Kaiser in Vienna in 1895. What a wonderful way to end the conference.

The 17th Conference will be held in the summer of 2006 in Northfield. It is our hope that we Americans can offer our visitors the same warmth and gracious hospitality that was extended to us in Austria

IGEB is a wonderful organization, filling a niche in the Wind Band Studies field that is uniquely its own. Over its 30-year existence, it has developed its identity and mission in ways that separate it from other band organizations, and yet complements them so well. The opportunity to broaden our knowledge of our profession by learning from, and sharing with, other scholars from all over the world is an opportunity afforded by membership in IGEB, and is what makes it such a valuable organization.

The International Society for the Investigation and Promotion of Wind Music (Internationale Gesellschaft zur Erforschung und Förderung der Blasmusik) (IGEB) was founded in 1974 at the first scientific congress for the exploration of wind music at the Conservatory for Music and the Performing Arts (presently the University for Music and the Performing Arts) in Graz, Austria. As early as 1966 a small circle of wind-music researchers, performers and amateurs had met in Sindelfingennear Stuttgartto establish a "Committee for the Investigation of Wind Music," the result being IGEB.

The aim of the society is the exploration of all aspects of wind music by means of international congresses at which musicologists, conductors, interested musicians and amateurs can exchange ideas and knowledge. A series of publications, Alta Musica, provides for the dissemination of research on a wide variety of topics dealing with wind music. At present, over 420 members from over 30 countries belong to IGEB.

Alphabetical List of Papers

(April 15th, 2004)

ANZENBERGER Elisabeth (A), Regimentsmusiken der Tiroler Kaiserjäger (1895-1918) und ihre Kapellmeister

ANZENBERGER Friedrich (A), Militärmusik im Umfeld von Lanner und Strauß (Vater)

BOYD John (Indiana, USA), Mendelssohn: Overture für Harmoniemusik, History and Contemporary Editions by John Boyd

BRENNER Helmut (A), Impassioned Dream Over the Waves. Juventino Rosas and the "Bandas"

BUIS Johann (Illinois, USA), Tradition, Training, and Black Music Aesthetics Issues of Wind Performance in the United States

CAMUS Raoul (New York, USA), Early American Music and it‘s European Sources, 1589 – 1839 : an Index

COHEN R. Scott (Virginia, USA), The Symphonic and March Styles of the Moros y Cristianos Festival in Spain

CONRAD Charles (Indiana, USA), ), Red Jewell and Charles Duble – Indiana’s Circus Composers

ECKER Heinz (D), Harmoniemusik: Versuch einer Begriffsbestimmung

EHRENFORTH Karl H. (D), Richard Börner (1834-1900) – mehr als ein schlesischer Musikmeister

FALVY Zoltan (H), Musikikonographie als Grundlage zur historischen Blasmusik

GABROV Anatoliy (BG), Der Beitrag des Blasorchesters zur Entwicklung der bulgarischen Musik

GLEASON Bruce (Minnesota, USA), A History of Horse Mounted Military Musicians. An Overview

HARTMANN Joseph (IL), March Music in Israel

JOPPIG Gunther (D), Alte und neue Blasinstrumente

KINDER Keith (CAN), Richard Wagner and the Wind Band

LAITINEN Kari (FIN), Finnish Military Bands in the End of the 18th Century

McCORMICK David C. (Florida, USA), Composer Quincy C. Hilliard, a Success Story

MITCHELL Jon (Massachusetts, USA), Early Performances at the Royal Military School of Music of British Band Classics

NIEMISTÖ Paul (Minnesota, USA), Brass Bands Among Finnish Immigrants to Minnesota – 1885-1918

NUSSBAUMER Thomas (A), Magnetophonaufnahmen Südtiroler Blasmusik aus der Quellmazsammlung (1940-1942)

PIETERS Francis (B), Nationalismus in der Blasmusik in Belgien

REIMER Mark U. (Virginia, USA), Predicting Success: Characteristics of the Successful High School Band Director

SIMONETT Helena (Tennessee, USA), Historischer Überblick über Blasmusik in der mexikanischen Provinz von Sinaloa

SULLIVAN Jill M. (Arizona, USA), A History of the U. S. Marine Corps Womens Reserve Band

SUPPAN Wolfgang (A), Blasmusikforschung seit 1966

WAGNER Alain (Texas, USA), Jazz Influences in Twentieth Century Symphonic Wind Literature