Virginia Allen, Respected Military Musician January 20 2010, 0 Comments

We at Altissimo! think it's only appropriate to recognize those who've made a significant contribution to the musical world, and if it's military music, even better to recorgnize them. This month we'd like to introduce you to someone we think is pretty special. Our contributor, Jack Kopstein, sent us an email about Virginia Allen. She is a former army band director who now works at the Juilliard School of Music, building up the future of music by educating the talented youth of the new generation. See the following biography at her website, Virginia Allen is the Associate Dean for Administration at The Juilliard School in New York City, where she previously taught conducting, co-founded and conducted the Juilliard Trombone Choir, and served as Executive Director of the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies. She is a former faculty member at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She was also Artistic Director of the Sun Valley Summer Music Workshops in Idaho, where she founded and conducted the Sun Valley Youth Orchestra. A former conductor in the U.S. Army Bands Program, Miss Allen was a pioneer for women in military bands. She was the first woman to command and conduct an active duty military band that included women when she was appointed Principal Conductor of The U.S. Army Forces Command Band in Atlanta. As the Associate Conductor of The U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, she was the first woman conductor of that historic organization, as well as the Cadet Glee Club and Cadet Band. She also performed on stages from the Hollywood Bowl to Europe as the first woman conductor of the Army's premier touring ensembles from Washington, D.C., The U.S. Army Field Band and The Soldiers' Chorus. Her military career included an assignment as the Department of the Army Staff Bands Officer in Washington, D.C., where she managed over 100 Army bands and band activities worldwide. Miss Allen frequently guest conducts, adjudicates and teaches master classes in the U.S. and internationally. She conducted Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombonist of the New York Philharmonic, and The Juilliard Trombone Choir on a compact disc recording released by the International Trombone Association in 1999 and now available as Beyond the End of the Century through Summit Records. Miss Allen collaborated with Mr. Alessi again another Summit recording, Trombonastics. As a composer and arranger, her music has been premiered, performed and recorded by members of the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Washington Opera Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, The Juilliard Trombone Choir, The U.S. Army Band, The U.S. Army Field Band, and The U.S. Military Academy Band. Her music has been published by Carl Fischer, Southern Music, Ludwig Music, and TRN Music. A member of ASCAP, she is a Board Member for the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) and a former Board Member for the Conductors Guild. Miss Allen studied French horn and conducting and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music degree in Performance from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a Diploma in Wind Conducting from the University of Calgary. She also completed an internship in Performance Activities at Juilliard. She is currently completing her Doctor of Education in the College Teaching of Music at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. Copyright