Mansfield to Host 75th Intercollegiate Band Festival

Band members play the french horn

MANSFIELD, PA (03/07/2023) Mansfield, part of Commonwealth University, will be home to the Pennsylvania Collegiate Bandmaster’s Association (PCBA) 75th Intercollegiate Band Festival from Friday, March 10, to Sunday, March 12.

Approximately 115 university musicians will converge on the Mansfield campus to prepare a concert on Sunday, March 12, at 2 p.m. at Steadman Theatre. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free for students.

The event is hosted by Dr. Adam F. Brennan, professor of music and director of bands at Mansfield, and co-hosted by Mansfield alumnus Jeffrey Tylutki, Keystone College director of bands and performance music. This marks the second time Keystone College will serve as cohost of the event with Mansfield.

The student musicians come from twenty institutions in Pennsylvania and are nominated by their collegiate band directors to participate. A selection committee of the PCBA meets to cull through the nominations and select a band representative of all participating colleges and universities.

The PCBA Intercollegiate Band is the oldest continuously running Intercollegiate Band in the United States. Begun in 1948 and hosted by Lock Haven State College (now part of Commonwealth University), the PCBA Intercollegiate Band has a rich history of having some of the most famous band conductors in the United States serve as the ensemble’s conductor. The 75th Anniversary Intercollegiate Band will be led by conductor Gary Green, professor emeritus of the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

Commonwealth University-Mansfield also has a long tradition of musical excellence as the first institution in Pennsylvania to grant a music education teaching certificate. This will mark the seventh time that Mansfield has hosted the PCBA Intercollegiate Bands- more often than any other school in the state. This will be Brennan’s fourth time hosting, making him and Mansfield University the PCBA’s most committed host of the PA Intercollegiate Band.

“This is a tremendous organization. From the first time I attended the event in 1996 with our students, I realized that the directors were among some of the finest teachers, musicians, and people I have ever had the pleasure to meet,” said Brennan. “Each director brings their best students to share an event that is, for many of these collegiate musicians, life changing. I simply believe that the event fosters excellence, and comradery among directors and student musicians, and is a worthy event. I look forward to being a part of this festival every year!”

Because this is the 75th Anniversary of the band, the organization set out to commission a new work in honor of the event. Composer Matthew Jackfert was selected to write a celebratory work to be premiered at the March 12 concert. A native of Charleston, W.V., Jackfert completed his undergraduate composition degree at West Virginia University as well as his undergraduate Chinese degree. He also finished a master’s in composition at the University of Texas in Austin while serving as director of the extracurricular choir, Collegium Musicum. Jackfert works in Charleston, W.V. as a composer and radio host with West Virginia Public Broadcasting. He serves as adjunct Professor of Composition at Marshall University.

“This will be an especially exciting work,” says Brennan. “For the student musicians, they will have the honor of bringing the piece to life in a World Premiere and they will have an opportunity to work with the composer as they prepare the piece over the festival weekend.”