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Virginia Wind Symphony, Directed by ODU's Zeisler, Receives Sousa Foundation Award


The Virginia Wind Symphony and adult wind group, directed by Old Dominion University music professor Dennis Zeisler, has received the John Philip Sousa Foundation 2011 Sudler Silver Scroll Award for Adult Community Bands.

This award recognizes the very best adult bands in the United States and is the highest honor that an adult band can receive.

The Virginia Wind Symphony, which rehearses at ODU, is made up of teachers from throughout the region, many who are ODU undergraduate and graduate alumni.

"Over the years, this group has been honored in many ways, but winning this award puts it in the top echelon of adult wind bands in the country," said Zeisler, who founded the wind symphony in 1994.

Charles Wilson, the dean of ODU's College of Arts and Letters, said, "This award is reflective of the outstanding talents not only of our faculty leaders, but also of our alumni. Professor Zeisler's accomplishments bring celebrity to the college and to the university."

The Sudler Silver Scroll recognizes community bands that have demonstrated a consistently high level of excellence and have made a significant musical and cultural contribution. The criteria for the award, as published by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, are:

• The band must have achieved and maintained particularly high standards of excellence in concert performances and have selected a high level of musical literature over a period of years.

•The conductor must be in his or her position for a minimum of five years including the current year.

•The band must have demonstrated a record of contributing significantly to the high standards of cultural environment in its community both by its performances and by involving a high percentage of community residents as performers.

Zeisler has been on the ODU faculty for 32 years, serving as director of bands, professor of clarinet and saxophone, and chairman of the music department. Under his direction, the ODU Wind Ensemble has developed into a premiere performing group and has received critical acclaim. The ensemble has recorded for TRN Music Publishers and Frank Erickson Publications.

In 1998, Zeisler was awarded membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. In 1999, he received the Orpheus Award from Phi Mu Alpha for "significant and lasting contributions to the cause of Music in America," and the Virginia Music Educator of the Year Award from the Virginia Music Educators Association. At ODU, he received the title of University Professor in 2010.

This article was posted on: December 20, 2011

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