The Caltech-Occidental Concert Band and the Caltech Jazz Band draw its musicians from the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the California Institute of Technology and Occidental College, the Caltech-administered Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the local community. The groups rehearse one night a week, and perform several concerts during each school year.
Many world-famous musicians perform and clinic with the bands every year. Billy Childs, Bill Watrous, Allen Vizzutti, Gary Foster, David Shiffren, Julia Heinen, Allen Vogel, Steve Houghton, Wayne Bergeron, Bobby Shew, Tony Plog, Nolan Shaheed, Washington Rucker, Eddie Daniels, Jim Thacher, Rick Todd, Loren Marsteller, and Jim Self are a few of the performers who have played with us. Composers who have worked with the groups include Frank Ticheli, Bill Holman, Joseph Curiale, Bruce Lofgren, Dirk Fischer, George Stone, Marvin Newman, and Nick Lawrence.
Each ensemble rehearses only one night a week, and performs three or four concerts every year. The ensembles have played many world premieres and performed for over ten thousand people. The bands have recorded four CDs, some of which are still available at the Caltech Bookstore. Three years ago, the Caltech Jazz Bands recorded at world-famous Capitol Studios in Hollywood.
William Bing, Director of Concert Band at Caltech, has been teaching at Caltech for over thirty years. In addition to his work at Caltech, Bill is a busy trumpet player. He has played and recorded with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, the California Philharmonic, the American Ballet, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Harlem Ballet. Conductors he has worked with include John Williams, Henry Mancini, Pierre Boulez, Simon Rattle, John Adams, Olivier Messiaen, and many others. Bill has won many teaching awards including the ASCIT Teaching Award from the students at Caltech, the Pasadena Youth Music Council Teachers of the Year, and most recently Honorary Membership in the Caltech Alumni Association.
Barb Catlin, Director of Jazz Band at Caltech, is beginning her first year at Caltech. Barb has held positions as the Musical Director of the acclaimed youth honor jazz program, The Young Sounds of Arizona, and was Director of Jazz Studies at Mesa Community College in Arizona. A pianist by profession, Barb received numerous accolades as a player and educator, including being named as a Downbeat “Player to Catch” and receiving the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Jazz in Arizona. Along with teaching at Caltech, Barb directs the jazz program at Pomona College.
Caltech-Occidental Concert Band
at the Great Wall of China!