Dr. Robert Rumbelow, Guest Conductor
Dr. Robert W. Rumbelow is the fifth Director of Bands to serve the University of Illinois in Champaing/Urbana and is the Brownfield Professor of Music at the University of Illinois, joining the faculty in 2010. He conducts the Illinois Wind Symphony (the premier concert wind band at the University of Illinois), works with graduate student conductors, and oversees all functions of the world's largest University Bands program. As a conductor he has appeared throughout the world leading wind bands, orchestras, and chamber ensembles. As a composer and arranger, Dr. Rumbelow's music is performed internationally, and is published by Kjos, Warner Brothers, Alfred, Ludwig/Masters, and C. Alan Publications.
Maestro Robert W. Rumbelow is an amazingly exuberant and scholarly conductor on an international level, gifted with a “body language at one with the music.” Equally at home with the symphonic classics, chamber repertoire, contemporary music (spearheading several major commissions), and educational programs (with a wide background in music education), he brings an extraordinary level of experience and artistry to any performing organization.
Maestro Rumbelow was music director and conductor of the Camerata Musica Chamber Orchestra, and is a frequent guest conductor of professional orchestras, opera, and concert wind ensembles throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, and Eastern Europe. He was also a tenured full professor / conductor at the highly selective Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University before becoming director of bands at the University of Illinois in 2010.
Maestro Rumbelow received his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music and was awarded the school’s highest conducting prize. He graduated with highest honors and was immediately hired by the Eastman School as a lecturer of conducting, associate conductor of several ensembles, and coordinator of ensemble activities. During this time he continued as music director and conductor of the Rochester Chamber Players (a professional chamber orchestra committed to the performance of contemporary music and concerti accompaniments).
Rumbelow’s last four CD projects (Summit Label) have all received Grammy nomination attention in various categories, and his newest CD featuring New York Philharmonic Principal Trombonist Joseph Alessi as soloist will have its much anticipated was released in the Spring of 2007. Also in Spring 2007, Maestro Rumbelow headed another major recording project with Chicago Symphony Co-Principal Clarinetist, John Bruce Yeh as soloist. The CSU Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds have been invited to perform at prestigious conferences of the Georgia Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, and both regional and national gatherings of the College Band Directors National Association. Through CSU’s annual Conductors Workshop, the ensembles have hosted many guest conductors, including Frederick Fennell, Donald Hunsberger, H. Robert Reynolds, Mallory Thompson, Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Rodney Winther, Andrew Boysen, Gary Hill, Craig Kirchhoff, Hal Gibson, James Jordan, Paula Crider, Frank Battisti, Tom Lee, Jerry Junkin, James Keene, Jack Delaney, Gary Green, and others. Guest soloists and ensembles are a vital part of the regular curriculum and have included many faculty soloists as well as nationally recognized performers such as Mikhail Yanovitsky, Marimba Yajalon, Andrew Harnsberger, Jonathan Keeble, Peter Kurau, Jens Lindemann, Joseph Alessi, John Bruce Yeh, Chris Martin, Mark Hughes, Phil Smith, and others. The area of Wind Ensemble Activities has also been active in several commissions and consortia including Shafer Mahoney’s Symphony in E-flat for Wind Orchestra (on the Summit recording Wind Legacy), Dorothy Chang’s Sunan Dances (on the Summit recording Journey), J.M. David’s Sinfonietta No. 1 (on the Summit recording Electric Dawn), and I wander in a dream of my own making by Christopher Theofanidis (on the Summit recording Visions).
Dr. Rumbelow maintains a very active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, arranger, composer, and lecturer. He is the recipient of several notable accolades, including being a two-time winner of the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize, the first prize winner in the Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition sponsored by the Sousa Foundation, winner of the North American round of the Tokyo International Conducting Competition (conducting the San Francisco Opera Orchestra), and progressing to the finals in Tokyo (conducting the Tokyo Philharmonic and the Shinsei Symphony Orchestra). His Russian debut conducting the Hermitage State Chamber Orchestra in April of 2003 received critical praise for his “unity of thought and performance,” while his concerts in Washington D.C. with “Pershing’s Own” U.S. Army Band were heralded as “memorable,” and “exciting.” As a composer and arranger, Dr. Rumbelow’s music is internationally performed and published by Kjos, Ludwig, Warner Brothers, and Alfred Music Publishers. Broadcasts of Dr. Rumbelow's music have been heard on NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, NPR, BBC, and NHK Japan. The maestro has received numerous ASCAP Awards for his writing, multiple selections to various Who’s Who listings, and many citations and awards from arts organizations. He has conducted for broadcasts on NPR and Georgia Public Broadcasting, and has been a regular guest commentator on the show “Soundscapes.” Maestro Rumbelow has been a champion of balanced programs and seasons that have included works from all musical eras. He has conducted premieres of works by Christopher Theofanidis, Dorothy Chang, Shafer Mahoney, Dan Welcher, Steven Stucky, J.M. David, Andrew Rindfleisch, and others. Most of these premieres were commissions and consortiums spearheaded by Dr. Rumbelow. The maestro’s college / conservatory ensembles have performed on tours and at major conferences around the United States and Japan that have resulted in widespread praise for his musicality, interpretations, and rapport with audiences and musicians alike.