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Frederick Fennell (1914 - 2004)

Frederick Fennell studied at the Eastman School of Music, a division of the University of Rochester, gaining his Bachelor’s degree in 1937, and his Master’s two years later, after which he immediately joined the teaching faculty of the Eastman School. Although trained as a percussionist, Fennell had wanted to conduct from his undergraduate days, when he had organised a marching band for Rochester University in 1933. He carried on with band conducting throughout his career at Eastman, gradually raising performance standards and greatly extending the repertoire for the wind band. In 1952 he formed the Eastman Wind Ensemble, in Dr Fennell’s words, in interview with Quin Mathews, ‘…a one-on-a-part reed/brass/percussion group that would be a virtuoso performing group, not the customary band of many, many, many duplications on a part, which I had been working with for twenty previous years’. All of the Wind Ensemble’s members were students.



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