Colorado State University graduate conducting student Benjamin Pouncey, was recently selected from a national pool of applicants to conduct the U.S. Air Force Band this summer in the National Band Association’s (NBA) Young Composer/Conductor Mentor Project in Washington D.C.
The Young Conductor Mentor Project was implemented in 2004 at the suggestion of mentor Frank Ticheli and involves an intense three-day collaboration with conductor mentors. The YCCMP Project is scheduled to take place June 12-15, 2022, in Washington, D.C., with The United States Air Force Band, Col. Don Schofield, Commander and Conductor. According to the program, many talented composers and conductors applied for the honor, and three conductors were selected.
Describing the application process, Pouncey said, “The young conductor application process is open to participants across the country, under the age of 34, and involves five components, which include submitting a cover letter, curriculum vitae (including a list of compositions conducted to date), letters of recommendation, a written score analysis, and video footage of a rehearsal and conducting performance.”
Pouncey, is currently pursuing a Masters of Music in wind conducting from Colorado State University, and is in the studio of Dr. Rebecca Phillips. As a graduate teaching assistant, Mr. Pouncey serves as guest conductor of the Colorado State Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band, and assists with the Colorado State Marching Band, Presidential Pep Band, and the Rampage Basketball Band.
“I am very grateful and looking forward to learning more about the creative process and furthering myself as a musician and conductor through this collaboration. I am also extremely excited about the once in a lifetime opportunity to conduct the professional musicians of the United States Air Force Band in rehearsal and the culminating performance,” Pouncey said.
When asked what she believed made Pouncey stand out in the selection process, Dr. Rebecca Phillips, Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Colorado State University, said, “he is an outstanding musician who is mastering the art of non-verbal communication through his conducting gestures.” Phillips continued, “the conducting program is thrilled he selected CSU for his education.”
“I am very thankful for the valuable educational opportunities provided by the wind conducting program at Colorado State University, under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Phillips, that continues to guide my graduate student experience. I am incredibly honored to have been selected as a participant in the 2022 Young Composer/Conductor Mentor Project and I am very much looking forward to this summer’s event!” Pouncey said.
The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at CSU is immensely proud of his accomplishments.