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Published April 21, 2023
The University of Wyoming Department of Music Spotlight Series will present “Legacies,” featuring the UW Wind Symphony, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall.
The final Spotlight Series concert performance will celebrate the distinguished career of Professor Robert Belser, the longtime UW Wind Symphony conductor and director of bands, who is retiring this spring.
Tickets are $14 for the public, $10 for senior citizens and $8 for students. To purchase tickets, visit the Performing Arts box office, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.tix.com/ticket-sales/uwyo/6984. UW faculty and staff members, and military personnel can purchase tickets at a discounted rate. To receive the discount, visit the Performing Arts box office between noon-6 p.m. Monday-Friday or call (307) 766-6666.
The concert will feature Belser’s favorites among the band repertory masterworks, as well as audience favorites, and will include UW Wind Symphony alumni playing with current members in the latter half of the concert. After the performance, the UW Alumni Association and Department of Music will host a special reception to honor Belser.
Belser has served as UW director of bands since fall 1995, growing the musical area from a single concert band and small marching band to three concert bands -- Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band and Community Concert Band -- as well as the 180-plus Western Thunder Marching Band and two pep bands. The marching and pep bands are now directed by UW Assistant Professor Joe Carver, a faculty position created in 2000 to accommodate the growth of the band program.
The Wind Symphony has become nationally recognized for its high level of musicianship based on performances at the prestigious Western/Northwestern Conference and at College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) events. Belser was elected to the CBDNA board and recently completed his service in February.
Belser also has served as guest conductor and clinician throughout the nation for all-state bands, honor bands, conferences and in public schools. He is the Laramie Municipal Band summer concert series director and participates in the music ministry for St. Paul’s Newman Center. Belser served as a member of the Albany County School District 1 Board of Trustees from 2006-2014.
Among his many awards and honors are the John “Jack” Ellbogen Award for Meritorious Classroom Teaching; “Warming the Chill” in 2001 for promoting inclusion and diversity in the classroom; 2004 Wyoming Bandmaster of the Year; 2004 Lee’s Summit (Missouri) High School Hall of Fame; 2008 “Top Prof’ at UW; 2009 Distinguished Alumni of the University of Central Missouri; and a three-time recipient of a “Top 10” faculty award in the UW College of Arts and Sciences.
Belser has a D.M.A. in conducting from the University of Iowa; an M.S. in music education from the University of Illinois; and a B.M.E. from Central Missouri State University, now the University of Central Missouri.
He previously served as director of bands at Southwestern Oklahoma State University; was the associate director of bands at Eastern Kentucky University; and was a band and choir director in public schools in Missouri.
A source of pride for Belser is his many former students who have had successful careers as music educators, musicians and as college and university faculty members, as well as professionals in nonmusic-related fields.
For more information, call Kathy Kirkaldie, UW Fine Arts coordinator, at (307) 766-2160 or email email@example.com.