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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Director of Bands invited to join American Bandmasters Association

Ken Van Winkle, New Mexico State University's Director of Bands, was invited to join the American Bandmasters Association (ABA), an elite group recognizing outstanding achievement in the concert band area.

Ken Van Winkle, New Mexico State University's director of bands, has been invited to join the American Bandmasters Association. (NMSU Photo by Darren Phillips)

onsidered for membership, a band director must be nominated by an active member of ABA and a recording of the nominee's band must be reviewed by the organization.

"It is exciting to know that I will be a member of ABA," Van Winkle said. "This is a rare opportunity to associate with some of the best conductors in the country."

Van Winkle was nominated by ABA member Bill Clark, NMSU music professor and Van Winkle's mentor for 20 years. "I would place him in the top 2 percent of wind conductors in the nation, and we are very fortunate to have him here at NMSU," Clark said.
Clark said the nomination process is long and strenuous. There are only 250 active members at one time.

There are four active members in New Mexico, and two live in Las Cruces. "That is a great reflection of the music program in the Southwest," said Greg Fant, head of the NMSU music department. "This is a tremendous honor, not only for Dr. Van Winkle, but for the entire program."

Van Winkle is the sixth person from New Mexico to receive the invitation. The induction ceremony will take place March 2006 in Dallas.