Caltech Bands 

Concert Band Testimonials

From the 20th Annual Bandorama (William Bing’s 25th Anniversary) program

First of all, thank you very much for attending tonight's concert. As you can tell from this program, it's my twenty-fifth anniversary concert here at Caltech. Actually, I first started teaching here in 1970. My first job was as a brass coach. In 1971, I left to play in the San Antonio Symphony. After two years there, I came back to Los Angeles to check out the free-lance scene. In 1974, I was rehired by Caltech to conduct the jazz bands. A few years later, I also took over the concert band. I've been here ever since.

Little did I know in 1974, that this "part-time" job would become the primary focus of my professional life. I had always assumed that playing trumpet would be my main endeavor. But, over the years, it became clear that to do the job right at Caltech meant Caltech had to move into first place.

Certainly, I have been fortunate in that I have been able to continue to perform with orchestras and bands in Los Angeles. Playing for five years with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra was probably the highlight of my playing career. Other fond memories include playing in an orchestra for Jack Benny. My first Hollywood Bowl experience was with Johnny Green, the composer of many great melodies, including "Body and Soul" Since then I have been back at the Hollywood Bowl to play with Henry Mancini and John Williams. Recordings with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra are also some of my playing highlights.

But with few exceptions, Monday and Thursday nights, and most of the time in between, are with my Caltech Bands. The Caltech students, faculty, and staff, as well as the community members who make up the groups have always made the trip to the campus worthwhile. Many of the members of the ensemble have played in the group for years and are good friends. The excellence that they all bring to their own lives and work make it a prerequisite that I try to do the same with the ensembles. Although this is something we do for "fun," it is still serious business-bringing to life the musical intentions of the composer for an appreciative and enthusiastic audience.

Another thing that I am pleased about, although I can't really take any credit for it, is that when I first came to Caltech, there was a small concert band, a jazz band in the formative stages, a guitar class, a small chamber music program and a little orchestra. Now, all of these ensembles are flourishing. In fact, about 10 percent of the Caltech student body participates in one or more of the music groups on campus. As you can tell from reading the comments from present and former students, the musical activities at Caltech help to provide a welcome relief from the academic rigors of the Caltech education.

I am grateful for the opportunity that Caltech has provided for the students and myself. I have had a great deal of help over the years. Physical Plant helps move the instruments from rehearsal locations and concerts and back again. The Office of Public Events directed by Denise Nelson Nash and her incredibly talented staff, keeps track of who uses what building, types my programs, books the halls, does the lighting, sound, provides the ushers, publicizes the concerts, and makes Beckman, a wonderful lecture hall, into a attractive music venue. The Office of Public Relations directed by Bob O'Rourke helped to publicize this concert. Karen Johnson, the music administrative assistant does everything from, well, does everything. We now have a Director of Performing and Creative Arts, Darryl Denning who is leading the charge to continue to provide the best possible musical and artistic opportunities for the Caltech student. Professor Steven Frautschi and his Administrative Committee for the Performing and Creative Arts devote countless hours working on our behalf. The Office of Student Affairs, with an incredibly capable staff, presently led by Chris Brennen and Sharyn Slavin Miller, has really done more than any organization on campus to keep the music program viable with their advice, counsel, and of course, financial support. Past presidents of Caltech have also been our advocates. Most recently, Tom and Doris Everhart have been tremendous supporters of the arts programs at Caltech. I am extremely pleased that the present president and his wife, Dr. Baltimore and Dr. Huang, also understand the need and function of the arts at Caltech and have spoken frequently on the need to be vigilant in the preservation and nurturing of the arts.

Although the present condition of the arts at Caltech is good, there is a common understanding in the Caltech community that the status quo is not good enough. We must invest more time and money to continue to build the program and its facilities, so that the arts program at Caltech, a premiere center for science and education, may continue to be a place where students can also express themselves artistically.

I know I won't be here conducting in another 25 years. But by making this concert tonight a special one, we're not just celebrating my 25 years at Caltech, we're recognizing that as long as there are students at Caltech who love the arts, whether it be the theater, music, visual, or any of the arts, there will be a place for them to go and express them­selves as they feel the need to do so.

Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues in the music program for their professional and moral support. I would also like to thank Delores, my wife of over 25 years. She is also my colleague at Caltech. As director of the Caltech Chamber Music program, with an average enrollment of over 60 students, she understands what it takes to do the job right, and she excuses my excesses in that area, as I do hers.

-Bill Bing


Bands are a traditional part of all academic enterprises. The sound of brass uncontami­nated by strings is stirring and elemental, punctuating formal events and giving particular pleasures in concerts. Bands are often limited to parades and sports events, but Caltech's world lacks such opportunities. So Caltech's band, like Caltech's science, is an enterprise cultivated for its pure values-artistry and depth of concentration.

As an ex-tuba player in high school and college bands, the growling and roaring sounds of the band bring back memories of youth. For 25 years Bill Bing has brought forth this wonderful music from generations of Caltech students. Thanks, Bill, for keeping the faith!

-David Baltimore
President, Caltech

Non-study outlets are important at an intense university such as Caltech, focused as it is on science and technology. Music is one such organized outlet, and the music programs, both vocal and instrumental, provide such an outlet from study. Since the Institute attempts to make excellence a characteristic of all its activities, it has been particularly fortunate in the leadership of its music. In particular, the instrumental music, such as the bands led by William Bing, have added much to the enjoyment of both the students who participate, and those of us who make it a habit to listen to their performances. Bill Bing has brought a laid-back attitude to his leadership of the bands that belies the excellence of his own abilities on the trumpet, and the excellence of the performances of his students. His bands have exemplified the adage that you can have fun even as you strive for excellence. The Institute and all those who participate, either by playing or by listening, are indebted to him. In particular, Doris and I are honored to do so in this program.

-Thomas E. Everhart
 President Emeritus, Caltech

Congratulations on your 25 years of directing the Caltech Bands. Music is such an important part of the campus community, for both the performers and the listeners. Thank you and the band members for continuing to bring pleasure to all of us.

-Steve Koonin
Vice President and Provost;
Professor of Theoretical Physics, Caltech

This is indeed a special day for Bill Bing and for Caltech. For the past 25 years the band program has been a delightful tradition for students, staff and faculty. It has provided a valuable cultural dimension to the Caltech experience as well as a forum for student, staff and faculty interaction. And throughout the years, Bill has nurtured this tradition with skill, with empathy and with humor. We are indeed fortunate to have someone of Bill's evident ability and dedication as a part of our program here at Caltech. Student Affairs would like to extend to Bill our sincerest congratulations and warmest good wishes on this auspicious occasion.

-Christopher E. Brennen
Vice President for Student Affairs, Caltech

Bravo to Bill Bing for his 25 years at Caltech! He has provided a wonderful musical and collaborative experience for our students that also brings great benefits to the overall quality of life for the Caltech and Pasadena community. Bill always infuses his concerts with a lightheartedness and joy that touches all of us in the audience. I truly appreciate and value his commitment to teaching Caltech students and providing them with a meaningful and enjoyable experience in the arts. I and many others look forward to his next 25 years ... Encore! Encore!

-Sharyn Slavin Miller
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Caltech

For our students, for many other members of the Caltech Community, and for many in the world outside who choose to associate with us, the band program has come to be a truly valuable part of our lives over the 25 years Bill Bing has been our Band Director. The participants he has served as teacher and model include many whose main focus has been on science or engineering, but whose talents include potential for excellent music-making, and who gain much satisfaction from doing it well. This enrichment of their lives will be with them for years to come. For others of us, the music programs have provided rewarding listening, excellent company, and pride in Caltech. As we celebrate Bill's quarter-century of stellar service, we look forward with confidence to a long future in which the band program and all the other music programs, continue to make Caltech a great place.

-Ray Owen
Professor of Biology, Emeritus;
Former Vice President for Student Affairs, Caltech

Music is alive and well at Caltech-as fun, as therapy, as performance, even as formal instruction. Musicians range from near-professional pianist to beginning guitar students- the wealth of musical talent here is truly amazing. The 25 years of Bill Bing's band program have given Techers numerous opportunities to balance their hectic lives of studying, studying, and more studying. And their public performances have shown the surrounding Pasadena community that there's more to Techer's special talents than just math and science.

Congratulations and a very special thank-you to Bill for being such an important part of the Caltech community!

-Bob O'Rourke
Associate Vice President for Institute Relations, Caltech

Congratulations on your 25 years as Band Director at Caltech. Our students need wholeness of body and spirit as well as hard work on the latest scientific theories and experiments. Making and enjoying music together is one of the most essential routes to developing the whole person and expressing our joys and sorrows. May your influence in this direction, and the contribution of the bands to the rich spectrum of music at Caltech, continue far into the future.

-Steven Frautschi
Master of Student Houses;
Professor of Theoretical Physics, Caltech

The performing arts, and music in particular, provide an effective antidote to the hard work and stress experienced by our students. For 25 years, Bill Bing and his band have offered the students a wonderful opportunity to do something creative, to decompress, to enjoy good company, and to offer splendid entertainment to others. Congratulations, and best wishes for the next 25 years!

-Rochus Vogt
R. Stanton Avery Distinguished Service Professor and Professor of Physics; Former Provost, Caltech

For 25 years I have seen the Caltech Concert Band and Jazz Bands evolve under the expert direction of Bill Bing. These high quality musical organizations attract large audiences, and serve well the students' needs to express their creative musical ideas. Bill is an inspiring teacher and a fine musician who is much admired by both his students and his fellow professionals.
Congratulations, Bill, on a job always superbly done, and Happy 25th!

-Darryl Denning
Caltech Director of the Performing and Creative Arts

Attending college is more than a purely academic experience. Those years are also a time to pursue new interests, expand talents, develop leadership skills, take risks and grow as an individual. This cannot happen without programs and activities that compliment the academic experience. This is especially important at Caltech where the amount of time students spend on classes and research is far greater than many other schools. More and more we see students entering Caltech with a desire to have a rich and full college experience that includes athletics and recreational activities, perform­ing arts, special interest clubs and leadership opportunities. The ongoing success that Bill has had with the Concert and Jazz Bands is an indication of the value students place on these opportunities and the enrichment they bring to our lives and to the campus. Congratulations on 25 wonderful years!

-Kim D. West, Ph.D.
Director of Residence Life

OP As, SA Ts, essays, teacher evaluations, and a demonstrated interest in pursuing math/science/engineering-all are part of the Caltech undergraduate admission decision-making process. But it is truly more than that--evidence of energy, commit­ment, and teamwork are also important considerations. And that is where pursuits such as music-playing in the high school band or orchestra, singing in the chorus­ become important. Congratulations Caltech for offering students the opportunities to continue those pursuits- along with their passion for math and science.

Congratulations, too, Mr. Bing for your dedicated efforts these past 25 years!

Under your leadership (and sense of humor) you have enriched the co-curricular experience for Caltech students and, along the way, have enriched the entire community as we enjoy the terrific music you make.

Congratulations, Bill!

-Charlene Liebau
Director of Admissions, Caltech

It has been a privilege and pleasure to appear with Bill Bing and the Caltech jazz Bands. I will treasure the rehearsals and each performance and feel honored to have been the featured vocalist on the California Institute of Technology "Exothermic Jazz" music project.

Through the universal language of music, Bill's program provides a unique and important approach in bringing students and professional entertainers together on stage. The group effort achieves the highest quality of performance and entertainment. Bill, thank you for your experience and dedication. You have added to the academic enrichment of each student who has had the opportunity to interface with the Caltech Bands under your baton.

-Angie Whitney
Vocalist on Caltech CD "Exothermic Jazz"

Congrats, Bill, on your 25th!

When Tech gave up intercollegiate football, I thought: "No more games in the Rose Bowl, no more pep rallies,-and no BAND!?!?"

After I retired, I met Bill and Delores Bing and found that there was, indeed, still a CAL TECH BAND; it was only part of a great instrumental music program they had developed. The BAND I rejoined in '86 was no longer a group of 20 to 30 undergrads playing for football games, rallies, and an occasional assembly in Culbertson Hall, but a top-notch 60 some-piece Concert Band augmented with grad students, faculty, alums, and community musicians playing from a diverse musical library in Beckman Auditorium!

The instrumental music talents of Caltech students are now properly supported with great opportunities to play in jazz bands, a concert band, orchestra, and several chamber music groups.

*(Sure glad there was a shortage of saxes, and I was allowed to continue my education in this distinguished assemblage of musicians.)

-Ray Richards, class of '40

For many years I have admired the Caltech Band for being the kind of institution so familiar in Europe, but so rare in the United States, a musical organization where the young and the mature can sit next to one another, learning, experiencing and enjoying together.

Caltech is much in debt to Professor Bill Bing for his efforts to sustain and nurture this civic institution over these many years.

-David Whitwell
Professor of Music, California State University Northridge, Past President of the College Band Directors National Association
Founding member of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles

I have been privileged to work with the Caltech concert band on a number of occasions, and, each time, I have found it to be a stimulating musical experience. I recall coming away from the first rehearsal I conducted with the ensemble, and being most pleased at both the performance level and musicality of the ensemble. Moreover, I distinctly remember being taken by the level of sophistication and knowledge of the art of music, especially in the historical context. Why, I wondered, would a group of scientists and serious students of the sciences choose to be so involved with the art form, when the demands on their time as students and researchers were so great? Remembering the energy and joy that was apparent in the rehearsals, the answer was obvious-the music recharged them.

The arts provide balance and a different kind of intellectual stimulation in an environment which is as challenging and rigorous as Caltech's. The instrumental music program in particular has grown to become an integral part of student life on campus, and I applaud William Bing for the outstanding work he has done to foster and grow the program. I want to congratulate Bill Bing on 25 years of success and the Caltech bands for a long heritage of excellence.

-John Swain Professor of Music
California State University, Los Angeles

Music is an important outlet for the Caltech student, alumnus, or community member. It enables one to open up a part of their mind that might often be neglected with the rigors of their everyday life. For the Caltech student in particular, music is a release from the stresses associated with one's studies.

The Caltech music program is unique in being accessible not only to the students, but to those outside the community. This allows students to interact with those whose profession is music, and makes better musicians of us all.

-Jason K. Holt,
Ph.D. Candidate, Chemical Engineering, Caltech

The band program at Caltech is important for what it does for the participants, for the performance medium, and for the musical genre. While educational psychologists have yet to prove that musical training enhances academic performance, there has been a persistent belief going back at least to ancient Greece that a complete education included music. The Elizabethans though that a lady or gentlemen ought to be able to sing madrigals and playa viol or recorder. While proof of a causal relationship may be lacking, musicians at Caltech clearly believe that performance is personally beneficial; after all, they participate voluntarily, not out of any requirement to do so.

I write these paragraphs during a lull at the 21st annual convention of the Associa­tion of Concert Bands, an organization dedicated to promoting community and adult concert bands. The municipal bands of days gone by have largely disappeared. Less obvious is that community bands composed of volunteer, amateur musicians are filling the void. I and other conference registrants came together to play in a very fine convention band. It is truly impressive how many talented, amateur, adult musicians there are. And this brings me to my second point. Between formal musical training in high school and the start of our adult careers lies a period of undergraduate and possibly graduate education. During this period, hard-earned performance skills need to be kept alive, and this is the second contribution of the band program at Caltech.

The music the convention band performed and the music presented by six other bands at the convention point out a third responsibility. The great touring band such as Sousa's and Gilmore's are gone. The great circus bands have also disappeared. But the music they played is part of the American heritage that no performance medium other than the modern concert band can keep alive. I remember when I was at Caltech that the band presented a circus program with guest artist Merle Evans. Though we may be dimly aware of it, all bands are the stewards of their heritage.

I would like to add a comment about my time at Caltech. Until about 1970, the Caltech Band was the only regularly supported instrumental performing group. We should all thank Dr. Frank Marble, chairman of the faculty Musical Activities Commit­tee then, for supporting the hiring of two band assistants including Bill to strengthen the program and to supplement the work of the Caltech Band director. As we know, Bill has expanded the jazz program and succeeded to the directorship of the Band. In the ensuing years, Caltech has broadened its support for chamber music and has created opportuni­ties for stringed instrument players. I think you will recognize that most of what I said about the importance of the band program applies in analogous ways to other musical activities. On this occasion of Bill's 25th year as Caltech Band director, I hope you also celebrate the entire history of the Caltech Band's contribution to musicians, bands, and band music.

-Kirby Fong Caltech Alumnus;
Former Caltech Band Manager

Since junior high school, music has been an important part of my life. When I first came here to Caltech last fall, I was not sure that it would continue to play that kind of role. Much to my surprise, it has become an even more integral part of my academic experience. Music gives me an opportunity to express myself, and more importantly, it gives me the opportunity to escape from the pressures of work. As if that was not enough, it is great fun to play with a group of immensely talented musicians. For me, mastering a difficult run or passage is just as enjoyable as solving a particularly difficult problem, and I love that I can do both here.

-Ben Backes
Caltech Freshman, Computer Science

I didn't know you were that old. Time flies when you're having fun. I really enjoyed working with your jazz band. The students played my arrangements musically and sensitively. It really makes it easy for me to perform when the group understands the concept of the music. You've developed a great program. Keep it up!

-Roy Main
Trombone Artist and Teacher Les Brown Band

When I was considering Caltech as a school, one of the deciding factors was definitely the presence of a jazz band and the hope that I might be qualified to play in it. During my first rehearsal, I was extremely impressed with the level of musicianship and the ability of everyone to pull a song together on the first try pretty decently. In an extremely busy academic life that we all live here, I'm grateful for the chance every week to play with a large number of musicians and still maintain my love of jazz. It's not easy keeping up with hobbies and extracurricular activities when you have lots of work, so the Caltech Swing Band encourages me to keep playing and give people a good show.

-Brian Eng
Caltech Freshman, Astrophysics

I appeared as a trumpet soloist with the Caltech Concert Band c.1990. I know it was around that time, because it was to be the last time my father would hear me play­, he passed away in April 1991.

This concert was a great experience for a number of reasons. Bill Bing did such a great job teaching the music and leading the band. It was quite comfortable, as a soloist, to sense the feeling of enthusiasm coming from this group. I was truly amazed at the level of playing reached by this group of non-music majors. They really seemed to enjoy performing. The band must be nice recreation for the students, who are otherwise totally immersed in science and math. There is no question that the talents and abilities in all of these fields are closely related.

It is my hope that this program under the direction of Bill Bing will continue for many more years.

-Malcolm Boyd McNab
First trumpet on over 1200 motion pictures

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

A memorable scene from the movie The Shining is when we finally see the novel that Jack Nicholson's character has been working on. He has a stack of pages sitting next to his typewriter, and they all have one sentence repeated over and over: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

I understand how he feels. After 12 hours, all of the careful formulas and algebra that are on my page as part of a physics problem set start to look like so many doodles. [ consider joining Jack as he grins wickedly and picks up his axe.

Instead, I pick up my trombone and run off to Concert Band. I joined Concert Band as a freshman and I've been hooked ever since. Bill Bing runs the band in a way that allows members to unwind, tell jokes, bring in recordings, and pick out what music to play. My workload and outside commitments have grown, but I stay in band. I stay because band provides a place to relax and to forget about integrals. I stay because I have so many friends here that I would not have made if I just sat around and did homework. The Concert Band has allowed me to hang out with grad students, JPL employees, and members of the community. And I stay because along with the fun and the friends, the band provides a chance to play some really cool music. It would not be able to do all of these things at once if not for Bill.

Jack Nicholson should have played trombone instead.

–Sara Milkovich
Caltech Junior, Planetary Science

To me, band at Caltech is an opportunity for two hours a week to forget about papers and problem sets and experiments and focus on an entirely different medium of expression. With the low pressure environment and simple focus on good musician­ship, I know that if I just give my best effort, I will inevitably have some fun making good music. I enjoy hearing other members of the band play, as we have some incredible talent in the group, and the challenge of molding my own notes and tone to blend with the rest of the band pleasingly is just such a refreshing change from the other sorts of tasks we usually face at Caltech. Although sometimes when Thursday night comes around, I may be reluctant to attend rehearsal with the thought of all the school work which must still be completed, I always find myself surprised and a little disappointed when the end of rehearsal approaches so quickly.

Congrats on your 25th!

-Elizabeth J. Hong
Caltech Freshman, Biology

The only reason I came to Caltech was because of the instrumental program. There was only one other college that I was seriously considering, but it had no instrumental program whatsoever. I decided that a college with out a band is like a function with no derivative, and decided to come to here instead. I think the Concert Band contributes a lot to this institution. It gives many hard-working students a break from their studies. It allows some good players as well as a great conductor to show off their talent. It also provides great entertainment for the rest of the Caltech community. I hope the Caltech-­Occidental Concert Band continues for many years to come.

-Angela Snow
Caltech Freshman, Environmental Engineering

I started out playing in the concert band at Caltech 4 1/2 years ago because bottom line, it was about the only place where a non-student, non-music major, frustrated-from-being-out-of-practice flutist had the opportunity to play. But the longer I stayed in the band, the more I realized I had stumbled upon something special. I got the inspiration to start practicing again; I've made friends, met famous musicians, heard lots of good jokes, and played under terrific guest conductors. It's been an opportunity to play in a relaxed, but challenging environment, and to make wonderful music with fellow musicians, whether young, old, talented or otherwise. And in the end, it has been food for my soul.

-Mary Davis
Caltech Community

Bill Bing manages the delicate feat of providing a professional musical atmosphere and direction while maintaining an understanding of the student's demands and time limitations. What is most impressive are the results he achieves with the scant rehearsal and resources available. The result is a quality musical experience for the students and community with the minimum of intrusion into the students' condensed time schedule. Congratulations, Bill, for reaping such rich rewards for the Caltech student body's mind and soul! All true, too! Congratulations indeed.

-Scott Babcock
Percussion Coach, Caltech Bands
Professional drummer, appearances on The Tonight Show and The Letterman Show

Twenty-five years! It truly seems like only yesterday that Bill Bing began as director of the Jazz Ensemble and the Concert Band at Caltech. Over those years, it has been a great pleasure to hear, to observe, and on several occasions, to perform with the Caltech groups. Congratulations to Bill and to the university for their commitment to bringing high achieve­ment in the musical arts to Caltech's outstanding students and to the Pasadena community.

-Gary Foster
Tonight's Guest Soloist and Recording Artist Voted Most Valuable Performer, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; Former Head of Improvisation for the National Association of Jazz Educators

Fifteen years ago, I began my association with Caltech as a clarinetist community member of the Caltech Band. I have always enjoyed talking with the students.

Then about 10 years ago, I became a student again (after a 28 year hiatus) and found how important it was to have a relaxing, creative outlet when cramming for classes and exams. The band gave me a real sense of stability to my life at that time and was much appreciated. I now play alto clarinet in the band.

- Trudi Anderson Community Player

It was a great honor and an absolute delight to have the opportunity to conduct the Caltech Concert Band last year. The talent and enthusiasm of the musicians for the music was quite apparent and I was very impressed. Their fine performance at the concert was a testament to their dedication to music as well as to their studies. I would truly value having the opportunity to work again with this fine ensemble.

-Jo Raquel Stoup
Orchestra Director, Pasadena City College

I actually predate Bill at Caltech-although that's hard to believe because Bill has become the music program at Caltech. There was a time before Bill arrived. The Wind Ensemble was not nearly as good as it is today. There was no regular jazz band. Bill has made it fun to perform at Caltech. There is no pressure. Students (and others) can unwind by playing in the various musical groups. What the groups lack in proficiency is more than made up by spirit and determination.

The Caltech bands have been a part of my life for the last 27 years-and that's considerably more than half my life so far.

-Les Deutsch
Composer of Tonight' s World Premiere Caltech Alumnus

Congratulation for the 25th anniversary concert!! I stayed one year at Caltech, as a visiting researcher from Japan. A secret purpose to visit the US, besides the research, was to play trombone in a Big Band. The Caltech Jazz Band completely answered to my wish. Days in the band were quite enjoyable. I got many musical relationships through the band activities. It really enriched my full one year life in the States. Currently, I am playing in a Big Band in Japan. I am proud of being an alumni of the Caltech Big Band, and I wish the band program will continue forever.

-Nobuaki Takanashi, Trombone from Japan

Happy 25th anniversary! During my grad school years at Caltech, the Caltech Jazz Bands provided me with musical experience and enjoyment that nicely complemented my scientific endeavors (and I know the concerts provided enjoyment for many of my friends). In addition to opportunities like improvising while backed up by a full band of great musicians, the Caltech band music program provided me with list of impres­sive music opportunities: playing with renown musical artists like guitarist Grant Geissman and drummer Gregg Bissonette, a two-hour one-on-one session with composer and arranger Joe Curiale, playing concerts at clubs like the Baked Potato, and recording a CD with the jazz bands!

Playing in these jazz bands has influenced me in ways extending beyond my time at Caltech. In another 25 years, when there's time to change the guard, I hope Caltech will not only have established an official music program into which groups like the jazz bands would fit, but also that they will find another director like you whose priority lies in providing a fun, challenging, educational, opportunity-filled, and meaningful musical experience for its participants.

-Rustan Leino Ph.D., Caltech 1995

In my experience, moderation and variety of experience are the keys to a satisfying life. My research as a Chemical Physics graduate student has been stimulating and enjoyable, but I balance that with other activities. I have been especially impressed with and have enjoyed playing in the Caltech Jazz Bands. Not only are the bands talented, but Bill Bing is an excellent director and motivator. I am always challenged by the music and by Bill to be a better player. Meeting other fine jazz musicians and forming groups with them to play has also been a great benefit of participating in the bands.

-Lou Madsen
Caltech Graduate Student, Chemistry

Performing at Caltech with Bill and Delores was a special musical experience. As professionals working day in and day out at our craft, we often loose sight of the enthusiasm and honesty that comes from loving to perform music. We become jaded, and tired, and the business part takes away the spirit that we all start with and try to maintain. Performing with the students at Caltech is a wake-up call. A reminder that we all need music in our lives, and that if it's honest and delivered with enthusiasm, it will touch us. Thank you Bill and Delores.

-Janet and Mario Guaneri
Formerly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Recording Studios, presently music contractors for Lucas Ranch Film Productions

During my time at Caltech, the Concert Band not only provided much needed relief from the inevitable stress of graduate school, but helped renew my interest in music which is continuing to grow. I still listen to my tapes and CD of the band from time to time, and I am truly proud to have been a part of it. I appreciate it perhaps even more after having gone elsewhere. Scientists, by and large, are creative people who do not live by science alone; for a school with no music majors, there is a tremendous amount of talent and enthusiasm which really needs a forum like the band program to express itself. I'm thinking not just of the players, but of the fine composers we had among us (Ralph Dunlap, Les Deutsch ... ). It was a unique experience being able to play their music, as well as Paul Asimow's Ives arrangement. It was gratifying to see the ensemble grow in maturity and cohesion during the time I was in it. Congratulations on ajob well done for 25 years, and may the band program continue to thrive!

-Patrick McGraw PhD. Physics '96

I will always remember my time with the Caltech bands as one of the best investments I've ever made. Every week I could look forward to one evening during which I was able to completely forget the stresses of graduate school and really get down to enjoying myself. Bill Bing's patience, support, and professionalism (with a group not particularly known for humility or graciousness) brings out the best in everyone, and has made the program a tremendous success. Through my participation in the music program I now have a network of musicians and friends that I continue to see regularly, and the role of music in my life has never changed-no matter what is on my plate at the moment, I can always put it aside for a while and concentrate on just having fun. And isn't that what really matters? Thank you very much.

-Tom LaTourrette Ph.D, Caltech 1993

Participating in the music program at Caltech cultivated my love of music. My love of music contributed to my emotional and spiritual well-being, both while I was at Caltech and after I'd left Caltech. The music program was one of the most fulfilling experiences I had at Caltech and it significantly affected the direction of my life. (Although they might not want to know that the music program actually got me more interested in music than in science and engineering!)

-Michael Mossey Caltech Alumnus

What does music mean to scientists? The assertion that there's a connection between math or science and music seems to be widely held. Mostly it's in the context of statistical correlation-lots of scientists play instruments. But I wonder if there's more to it. Is there something about music that appeals to the same kind of people who are drawn to science? I think that the actual act of doing science resembles that of playing music. In both disci­plines, Hind myself dealing with complicated instruments where mastery of the apparatus isn't really what counts. It's what comes out that I really care about. However, the fact that there's a diabolical device between me and realization of the goal is inescapable. Philo­sophically, I'm saying "I'm making music" or ''I'm making scientific progress," while practically I'm saying "I'm trying to produce modulated tones by blowing into a twelve foot brass tube" or "I'm trying to inject 50 nanoliters of solution into a tiny, round, moving frog egg which is supposed to be surviving the experience." Ultimately, both disciplines are all about denial of the practical. This similarity leads to the next question. Is there an identifiable scientific style of making music? For me, I feel like there is, in fact, a certain empiricism to my playing. Like I'll do the experiment of seeing if I can play B tlats while fingering B naturals. Or seeing how loudly I can play during rests. The fact that these experiments aren't necessarily premeditated doesn't bother me too much. After all, much of scientific progress arises from serendipitous discovery. So is there such a thing as scientific playing? With a sample size of one, I'm in no position to generalize. In the Caltech band, however, I can collect a bit more data on the topic. So, in some ways it's just another experiment. However, it strikes me that after 25 years of teaching music at Caltech, Bill might already know the answer.

-Gabriel Brandt, GS Chemistry

As a graduate student at Caltech, I always looked forward to rehearsals and concerts with the bands. More than just an escape from the lab, the bands were a multi-disciplinary activity where no distinction was made between undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. The important thing was our mutual Jove of music, that human creation which is such a curious blend of intellect and emotion. For me, music is one of the greater joys of life. In fact, one reason I chose Caltech for my graduate studies was the music program here, which has an unusual number of opportunities for such a small school; two full jazz bands on a campus with fewer than 2,000 students! Seven years later, I can say that some of my most memorable moments at Caltech involved making music with the people in these bands. And of course, it would not have been possible without the steadfast commitment and dedication of our director, William Bing.

-Jean-Paul Davis
Aeronautics M.S. '93, Ph.D. '98
Thursday Jazz Band, lead alto sax, '92-'98 Concert Band, baritone sax, '94-'96
Caltech Saxophone Quartet, baritone sax, '94-'96

Unfortunately, I will not be traveling to Caltech for the big concert, but I wanted to drop you line to congratulate you on your 25th anniversary and to wish you well for the future. I know that having a band available when I was at Caltech was important to me, and since it is still going strong I know that it is important to others as well. You made it happen for all of us and I thank you.
Best wishes as you move onward to your next 25 years!!

-Bob Miorelli
M.S. '79 (Piccolo and Music Librarian)

For me, participating in the wind ensemble, jazz band, and orchestra provided a welcome break from the academic and social pressures that permeate Caltech undergraduate life. I greatly appreciated having the opportunity to pursue a creative endeavor outside of my studies, and sharing that pursuit with so many other talented members of the Caltech community was a great experience. I particularly enjoyed working with the various professional musicians that Bill invited to perform as guest artists with the bands. Looking back, I regard my participation in the instrumental music program as a vital part of my Caltech career.

-Doug Priest Caltech Alumnus

I remember you and the jazz band fondly! I would love to be with you on May 15th, but I am already committed to a class in Seattle on that day. I'm so sorry to miss it. It would be great to see you again!

I have so many great memories from my time with you in the Jazz Band. Do you remember bringing the Jazz Band to play at my wedding reception on December 27, 1978? I do! And I have the photo to prove it. I even left my beautiful bride behind on the dance floor to hop up on stage and playa solo (I did leave my ax behind when we took off on our honeymoon hours later, though).

I also remember playing the Ice House under your direction, with Bill Watrous as special guest. I remember those mellow Spring days performing out in front of the bookstore at lunch time. And I remember walking across campus at night to and from the evening rehearsals in the basement of Beckman.

Most of all, I remember the joy of making great music together, your sardonic wit, your everlasting patience and support, your love of music, and your never-failing love for those unusual people known as "Techers."
I know that you put in many hours with little or no pay, and I thank you for that.

Music was one of the things at Caltech that allowed me to balance out the rigors of study and keep my sanity. I am glad to know you are still at it, and so many students are benefiting from the soul nourishment that only music can provide.

-Bruce Baker ('78)

Although I was interested in airplanes years before I touched the clarinet, the opportunities I took in intermediate and high school made me a better clarinetist than an engineer. Caltech would change that, but I was not going to let years of practice evaporate from disuse. I participated in band and chamber music throughout my stay as an undergraduate. The environment in these musical groups was perfect: relaxed enough to let students keep focus on ultra-challenging technical studies, yet challeng­ing enough to let students grow in their musical abilities. I left the area for graduate school, but returned to work on advanced aircraft concepts at Boeing. Participating in the band as an alumnus, I am grateful of the opportunity to maintain my musical interest alongside my technical career. Both during and after CaItech, the band has been essential in keeping music an important part of my life.

-Sean Wakayama CaItech Alumnus

Heading off to jazz Thursday night means leaving the academic glare for a cool, dark cave to communicate only in shouts and hums.

-Robert Nielsen,
Caltech Graduate Student

Happy 25th!! It is so wonderful to hear of your anniversary concert. I sincerely wish I could be there! I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed playing in the band during my years as a grad student at Caltech. You probably have no idea the impact that it had on me. I came to Caltech after spending four years at Oberlin College feeling like a barely mediocre" clarinet player. I could not participate in many groups there because I was not a conservatory student, nor did I have anywhere near the playing ability of a conservatory student. I lost perspective and confidence, and I was actually surprised when you complimented me after I played for you the first time at auditions my first year at Caltech! I recall it quite specifically because in addition to welcoming me to the band, you strongly encouraged me to see Delores about playing chamber music, which is something I NEVER would have done on my own for fear of being heard individually in such small groups! Little did I know (nor would I have believed) that I was about to experience a "rebirth" of my love for playing clarinet, and a tremendous improvement in both my confidence level and ability during grad school playing in the music groups at Caltech. I thank you so much for that! Had it not been for the opportunities and encouragement that you and Delores gave me, I know it would never have occurred. In addition, band served as a wonderful stress reliever and much needed non-science activity to provide some balance in my life during grad school. Looking back at it, my life was pretty "one-dimensional" in grad school as it was, and so it is kind of scary to think about how it would have been without musical opportunities! Thanks again, Bill. Have a wonderful concert in celebration of this wonderful milestone! You have impacted many students positively, and that, as well as all your other contributions and achievements, is definitely worthy of much celebration!

-Gary Mines, Caltech Alumnus

Playing in the bands at Caltech is fun. The bands provide a welcome relief from school work, and a chance to meet new people. Music is important: it makes Caltech a better place to be.

-Kevin Babcock, Sophomore, CS

Even before I came to Caltech in the Fall of '95 I knew I'd be involved in some music program here. Music had been an integral part of my life for the previous nine years, and I knew that if I didn't schedule time to keep playing that I would lose something very dear to me. So without hesitation, I signed up for the Caltech-Occidental concert band just to keep playing. Yet even then I really didn't know what to expect from playing with the Caltech bands, and what I'd eventually learn from Bill.

The greatest shock I had to overcome when I started playing here was that although everyone was very friendly and seemed to get along well, band was no longer a social environment for me. In high school the majority of my friends were in band and as much as I learned then about playing, the music was rather secondary to the extended family I had. Now, I'm not suggesting that music was not important to me then, nor am I saying that I don't get along with the musicians here at Caltech. It's quite the contrary on both counts. What changed were my priorities. Here at Caltech most all of my friends were other students I knew through my House, so playing in the band here let me focus on music as a more personal pursuit.

I think Bill must have noticed how much playing meant to me, even though I was far from being the most social member of the group, because by my second year here he had asked me to help out as assistant manager, perhaps so I'd feel like I was contributing more. The next two years I was head manager and learned a great deal about responsibility and commitment. But that wasn't all I learned from Bill. As a musician I learned something else that had somewhat eluded me until then. I learned to truly enjoy playing, and to be able to express that joy through playing. He taught me that music wasn't something to just be good at (or even need to be good at), but most importantly something to do because you love doing it and to share that with the audience. Who would have ever thought I would have learned something like that here, at Caltech?

-Carl Anhalt,
Caltech Senior, Band Manager

I was absolutely delighted and honored to receive your letter Describing the upcoming concert and exhibit in celebration of your 25th Anniversary at Caltech. You enhanced my campus experience immeasurably while I was a grad student at Tech in the '80s. You gave me an Opportunity to learn about jazz-an aspect of musical knowledge that was sorely lacking in my music background, and you gave me valuable counsel as I was contemplat­ing a music career. I will always remember your having invited me to attend the Pasadena Symphony rehearsal of The Rite of Spring with Jorge Mester conducting and I will always especially remember your attendance at the summer choral program that I conducted during the summer of 1985-it was a great honor for me to have you in attendance. The specific memories alone make me tremendously thankful for having had the great pleasure of working with you and as a consequence learning from your abundant knowledge and skill as a musician. But they are practically overshadowed by the more general and lasting impression that I have of you as a kind, always upbeat, incredibly dedicated and talented individual who I had the great fortune of getting to know and as a consequence was able to grow as a person.

It's great to know that the tradition continues and that so many more students over the years have been able to benefit from the gifts you bestow. May they continue for many more years to come.

Best of luck in your continued association with Caltech, and congratulations on this momentous event.

-Arie Michelsohn Ph,D., Biology, 1991

I was working late at my IBM job when the phone rang. It was Bill Bing asking me to play sax in the Thursday Jazz band. Although I was glad to hear Bill's voice, I hesitated: it had been over 10 years since I was last in the band (while earning my M.S. at Caltech). After graduating, I had stopped playing altogether. I missed performing with the band, but thought I was just too busy to continue. Anyway, I gave Bill every excuse I could think of not to play again. Thank God that Bill was so persistent (in his cool, mild-mannered way)! Since then, I, ve been back with the Thursday Jazz Band (five years straight), have had the opportunity to play with some of the best musicians in the world as guest artists (I don't know how Bill gets them to play with US!) and am performing almost every weekend in two professional R&B bands. If it weren't for Bill pushing, nudging me back into music, playing the sax would not be a part of my life, and I'd truly be missing something.
This demonstrates how much Bill cares for each of the musicians he works with. He treats everyone with respect, dignity, and patience and gives everyone their chance to be a star. And no music is too hard for us (sometimes to our detriment-but always a learning experience!). Bill enjoys sharing the music he coordinates. I can't begin to count all the Caltech events that the Jazz Bands alone have played at. The music program at Caltech enriches all of us-musicians, students, faculty, alumni, the audience, and the community and helps Caltech remain the wonderful institution that it is. Without Bill gently nudging, pushing to keep music alive on campus, Caltech would truly be missing something!
Congratulations Bill on 25 wonderful years at Caltech, and a personal thanks for the nudging!
-Tom Flemming Caltech Alumnus
In High School, I was able to participate in many musical groups. When I arrived at Caltech I found the work load would often get me down. I had to cut back on my non­class related activites. One reason I did not drop the Jazz band, was that no matter what mood I was in when I walked over to the late night rehearsal, I would always leave humming a tune and bouncing along. The great feeling of laid back jazz and getting a chance to get a feel for the jazz community in LA were just added bonuses.
-Matt Carlson
Caltech Alumnus, Caltech Graduate Student
When I came to Caltech from an arts high school, I never expected that this would be the place where I would discover and develop a passion for music. I still remember my freshman year, when I first went in to sing for Bill Bing and he invited me to come and sing with the Monday Night Jazz Band! During my first performance at Beckman Auditorium, I felt incredibly nervous and shaky on stage while singing "My Funny Valentine" and "It Had to Be You .. Since then I have enjoyed connecting to the audiences, having the opportunity to share the words of beautiful songs such as "God Bless the Child," and working with the musicians in the bands. I have become comfortable and confident on the stage. I have had the chance to freely explore the world of music. In addition to singing jazz, in Darryl Denning's classes I learned how to play the guitar, making it possible for me to compose songs and take on a new direction. I know that I
will be forever grateful for the musical opportunities I have had at Caltech, where the music program serves the students' diverse needs and interests so openly and well.
-Brigitte Roth
Caltech Senior and Soloist on Tonight's Program


 

I wish to congratulate you on an outstanding career at Caltech. It is not an easy task under the best of conditions (read Music School) but to have such a vital program with essentially a group of volunteers says a lot about your abilities. It also says a lot about the importance of music and the arts in any educational institution. I believe that the arts
nurture the soul and stimulate the mind in ways that no other avenue of study can duplicate, and that your ensembles successes through the years prove that I am not alone in these thoughts-your students also believe. My experience with your groups was nothing short of a complete pleasure. I felt I was making music with people who truly wanted to make music. Trust me when I say that does not always happen. You and your students made me feel welcome, and I will always remember my experience with you. Let's do it again!!

-Richard Todd Principal Horn,
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Soloist

Why do I love going to the jazz concerts?

WOW!!! I've been going the last three or four years and enjoyed every minute of it. It's cool to see that Caltech students, faculty, and staff have a life besides science. The music and vocal solos are fantastic, but most of all, Bill, your one-liners are FUNNY!!!

-Susan Lee
Caltech Staff, Public Relations, Audience Member

I am thrilled to be able to help celebrate two things at Caltech which I had the honor of being associated with-the great music which has come out of the Caltech Performing Arts Program and the 25 years of dedicated service to that program by the director, Bill Bing. Having performed under his baton during my 4 years at Caltech in the Jazz Bands, I have seen the tremendous effort that he has poured into the groups. His love for the music and teaching reaches everyone in the bands. Not only does the music program act as a necessary stress reliever from the rigors of Caltech, but it also allows the students to express them­selves and to demonstrate the musical talents that Bill has helped cultivate. I am very proud to have been a part of what Bill has accomplished at Caltech.

Whenever anyone asks me about my favorite experiences at Caltech the one that stands out the most is not science related at all. My freshman year (94-95) the guest artist for the jazz bands was Gregg Bissonette-a very famous and talented drummer. Being a drummer myself, I was overwhelmed to have the chance to watch him up close, to use his drum set, and to trade solos with him during a concert. I remember thinking later that evening about the amazing opportunities I was receiving at Caltech-Not only was I getting a tremendous education at Caltech but I was also fulfilling musical aspirations and dreams that I never imagined would come true.

It is great to see the continued support for music at Caltech and to see it continue to grow and flourish. Thank you, Bill.

-Michael Shumway Caltech Alumnus

It's good to be on your mailing list. We really enjoy your concerts. (The cookies are also great, especially the soft chocolate with the chocolate frosting ones that you usually have.) Keep up the good work-it's appreciated.

-Alden Galgraith
JPL (retired after 29 years, Electrical Engineer), Audience Member

Many of the people that enroll at Caltech are not only gifted students, but also accomplish musicians. The instrumental music groups that Bill has directed over the last 25 years have provided a means for these students to develop and display their musical talents. Playing in the jazz band and a chamber music ensemble made my years at Caltech much more enjoyable and fulfilling than they would have been otherwise, and Bill's encouragement and support were welcome amid rigorous academic commitments.

-Rusty Schweickart Caltech Alumnus
Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.

The other night Bill asked the community players to stay after so that he could thank us all for playing in the band. But so far as I am concerned, I'm the one who should come to thank Bill instead. He gave me a place to play again, gave me encouragement, gave me lessons, gave me instruments to play, gave me good colleagues to play with, and big audiences to play for. In short, he gave!

-Jay Breidenthal Community Band Member

I'm glad to hear that instrumental music has survived since I left Caltech 25 years ago.

Sounds like things are looking up-I remember being upset when our one and only French horn player received three out of 100 on a math exam that I was involved in grading!

Unfortunately it looks as if I won't be able to make it to the concert next month-I'm living in Vancouver BC now-unless this project at work sends me down to California at just the right time. (It's not impossible, just very unlikely.)

My wife Rosemary, who also played in the band 25 years ago, and I are still married and have two children. Both of them play instruments. My son plays the trumpet, and performed a movement of the Haydn concerto with his high school band a few years ago. My daughter plays the cello, but it's second fiddle to her competitive swimming at the moment.

-Paul Clapham (Ph.D. 1974)


Now in my 20th year with *The Concert Band*, I look back with satisfaction at the changes and growth that have occurred during Bill's tenure as Director. Bill speaks from time to time about advancing the group to "the next level" in performance quality. What actually happened during my 20 seasons with the Band is that its musicianship improved continuously. But even if The Band were now performing to Bill's original expectations, he would undoubtedly have more ambitious goals for the ensemble's future. I believe there is virtually nothing in the band literature that Bill would hesitate to tackle with his current personnel. Programs composed of the best in the literature are important reasons why the players remain stimulated. And those programs plus Bill's wit are what keep the audiences stimulated.

-Conrad (Connie) Josias Community/JPL

I still remember one memorable concert where Beth (my daughter) played flute and conducted; I was playing bass clarinet; and my wife AND my mom and dad (grandma and grandpa) were all in the audience. And if my failing memory serves me correctly, I think it was my mother's birthday, too.

-Don Gross
CT Community Band Member

To me, band at Caltech is an opportunity for two hours a week to forget about papers and problem sets and experiments and focus on an entirely different medium of expression. With the low pressure environment and simple focus on good musician­ship, I know that if I just give my best effort, I will inevitably have some fun making good music. I enjoy hearing other members of the band play, as we have some incredible talent in the group, and the challenge of molding my own notes and tone to blend with the rest of the band pleasingly is just such a refreshing change from the other sorts of tasks we usually face at Caltech. Although sometimes when Thursday night comes around, I may be reluctant to attend rehearsal with the thought of all the school work which must still be completed, I always find myself surprised and a little disappointed when the end of rehearsal approaches so quickly.

Congrats on your 25th!

-Elizabeth J. Hong
Caltech Student Band Member

The Caltech/Oxy Band is a complex conundrum of contradictory elements: Caltech students, Oxy students, JPL people, other Caltech people, random community types; four-year termers and lifers; extremely talented, adequate, and marginal musicians; winds, brass, and percussion; easy-listening music and challenging contemporary works; original band music and transcriptions; solo and ensemble works; etc. Bill Bing has kept these parts playing together smoothly. The group and its conductor encourage loyalty and dedication in the players, and the band strikes just the right balance between work and fun that keeps otherwise busy players coming back. It thereby keeps music active and alive for talented amateurs who would otherwise let it go after they leave high school, or college, or whatever stage of life marks their transition from creative youth to boring and dutiful adulthood. I'm very grateful for the opportunity Bill and the band gave me to continue my conducting (such opportuni­ties are rare-an amateur musician can just play, but an amateur conductor needs 50 people to want to play along). Likewise, the Band's concerts are free, easy to get to, and easy to listen to for its loyal audience. The essence of the Band's magic is really the same for audience and player alike: we make it easy to do something that is good for the spirit, and such things are rare in life.

-Paul D. Asimow
Guest conductor on tonight's program Caltech Alumnus
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

When I came to Caltech to perform with the big band, I was very, very, impressed with the quality of the musicianship, great altitude, and professionalism of everybody.

I'm a big fan of yours. I really enjoyed working with you and you're really doing a wonderful job of getting the bands sounding great all the time.

It was a real pleasure to work with you and the band was really swinging! Please keep in touch.

-Greg Bissonette
World Famous Drummer

Congratulations on your 25th year anniversary as Jazz and Concert Band Director at Caltech. We have shared many musical occasions over those years and, I'm sure, we both wonder where the time went. You, however, seem to stay young. From the L.A. Opera to dance and jazz bands to chamber music I have always valued your trumpet playing and your sincere and gentle nature. As they say, you are one of the good guys.

One of my fondest memories was being a soloist with your groups at Beckman. It was early in my "solo career" and helped me achieve the confidence to pursue more of that with several solo recordings and concerts worldwide. Your ensembles are always high quality and provide a much needed musical balance to those brainy and talented Caltech students. I also see your personality and as one that interacts and leads them well. The instrumental department is you, Bill.

It is my sincerest wish that you have many more years at Caltech and maybe we can share another concert some time.

-Jim Self
Studio and Orchestra Musician (tuba soloist, voice of the mother ship on Close Encounters) Faculty, USC School of Music

I am honored to be asked to submit a few words about Bill Bing and his work in the music department at Caltech. I am surprised to hear that he is celebrating 25 years at this school. I think I was one of the early guest artists to perform with the band, sometime back in the mid-'70s, at the Icehouse in Pasadena. It's hard to believe it has been that many years.
What I have always been impressed by about Bill is his absolutely positive attitude toward whatever he does as well as toward the manner in which he handles the "kids" in the band(s). He and I, both being professional trumpeters, have had numerous opportunities over the years to compare notes as fellow teachers. He is a very open ­minded person especially when it comes to learning new things for himself as well as something he might be able to pass on to his students. He has amazing energy and a very high level of honesty, integrity, and caring about his own performance skills and he is therefore a tremendous role-model for these students he is in constant contact with. He is the kind of person I would want to teach MY children.

Congratulations, Bill!!

-Bobby Shew
Jazz Trumpet Artist with Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Art Pepper, Neal Hefti, Horace Silver, now has many
CD's as a band leader.

Although it is quite a few years ago that I performed the Rimsky-Korsakoff work with your excellent concert band at Caltech, the experience is still vivid in my memory. I was most impressed with the excellence and spirit of your fine ensemble.
Congratulations on 25 years of outstanding leadership. Music serves a vital role in your world famous scientific community! Keep up the good work!

-Dr. Allan Vogel
Principal Oboe,
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

At a university where scientific research is undoubtedly the foremost priority, it is refreshing to find a thriving music program that provides the entire Caltech commu­nity with the opportunity to participate in high quality ensembles at an intensity level that is compatible with the rigors of academic life. Through his musical excellence, gentle coaxing and quiet humor, Bill Bing makes Caltech a more colorful place for everyone that makes music in his company. It is a privilege for all of us to work with a musician of his caliber and to be introduced to each of the outstanding guest artists that he is able to bring to the Caltech stage. Let's hope there are many more Bandoramas to come.

-Niles A. Pierce
Senior Postdoctoral Scholar Division of Biology

I'm not all that fond of band music, but when you have a great stand-up comedian* making remarks between numbers, now that's entertainment!

* That's you, Bill.

-John Jacobs Audience Member

We, the Kirkland Family, have very much enjoyed the concerts that you have so expertly directed the last several years while our son, Tom, was a member of the band. You direct the concerts superbly and your witticisms between selections add tremen­dously to the entertainment. We travel a great distance to watch and hear every performance we can. The talent and expertise you attract have enabled the students perform at very high level.

Tom's education at Caltech has been greatly enhanced by his participation in your fun group. He tells us he has had a wonderful time both at the shows and the practices. We owe you a great debt for what you have done for him and for us. Thank you.

-The Kirkland Family

While at Caltech, there were only two things that kept me from going off the rails and become 100% nerd. One was the Caltech music program, and the other my spouse, whom I met in my second year (I joined the band in my first). Also, I feel that I was able to grow quite a bit in my understanding and appreciation of music. I came to Caltech having played chamber music only, and left having developed a real appreciation for modern American composers, having seen much more of the Sym­phonic repertoire up close, and beginning to appreciate some things I thought I disliked, like opera, through some wonderful guest performers that you worked with. Also, I have a really deep appreciation for the way in which you managed to strike a balance between keeping the band challenged and making great music, while at the same time allowing for the pressures that most of us had outside the band. I'm amazed that it has been 25 years (you don't look that old ). Maybe you should keep at it, and keep yourself young and give more Techies the same great experience I had!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

-Peter Hofstee, Ph.D.
Caltech Alumnus

We enjoy attending the concerts because it is such a fun environment and you put your heart and soul into it.

-Charlotte and Laurie Klein


Congratulations! I was there when you first arrived at Caltech and you were and are a very welcome "breath of fresh air".

All of your groups have been successful and a great addition.

I must tell a short story of a musical group that existed before you came. We decided that Caltech should have a marching band for the football games. However, we could only muster 6-8 members and does not a marching band make! It matched the quality of our football team of that time!

I applaud you. I'm proud to say that I was one of the first members of your bands. -Tony Bakke, tenor sax, Ph.D.
Please add my congratulations to your tremendous achievements at Caltech. I did 1I0t know what to expect when Bill Bing invited me to perform as soloist with the band. One would imagine that the scope of the students activities might be so focused as to preclude artistic and musical endeavors.

I was surprised and tremendously impressed with the high level of training, musician­ship and instrumental ability displayed by the music students at Caltech.

Perhaps even more important was their commitment and enthusiasm."

-David Shifrin
Artistic Director, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Artistic Director, Chamber Music Northwest (Portland Oregon)
Professor of Music, Yale University School of Music

From the 29th annual Bandorama -
Graduating Ensemble Members say ...

Tragically, I didn't find my way into the Concert Band until my Senior year, but it has been an immensely rewarding experience. From the very first rehearsal I felt a strong sense of camaraderie, particularly within the trombone section (represent!). The combination of friendship and great music-making has made the band on invaluable port of my life at Oxy.

- Stephen Bent Occidental College Senior, Music

I am a graduating senior at Ca/tech, and will pursue a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University from the coming fall until 2014. When I entered the Thursday Jazz Bond in 2005, I only had one and a half years of self­taught electric jazz bass training. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that each of my four years in the Thursday band raised the bar on my playing higher and higher. The bond provided the perfect opportunity for me, a classically trained pianist, to grow tremendously in jazz theory and bass performance. In fact, I did not start playing the upright bass until 2007, when I felt that it would be a more mean­ingful addition to the Thursday band's swing tunes than the electric boss. Since then, I have been teaching myself the upright bass and using the Thursday bond as the perfect setting to improve my playing.

-Kevin Chen Caltech Senior, Aeronautics

I am very grateful for the Caltech music deportment. Participating in the Caltech music program has been on essential part of my educational experience. In the Monday and Thursday Jazz Bands, I have played unique and challenging music literature that has fed my musical soul, and has also helped develop the mathematical center in the right side of my brain. I would never have discovered my own curiosity about jazz theory, had it not been presented in the jazz bands and in the music theory class I took from Professor Neenan. Most importantly, I have forged what are certain to be life-long relationships, both in my technical field and in music, as a direct result of participating in Thursday Jazz Bond. Thank you so much for this once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity.

-Lauren Chu Caltech Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Every time I start playing my flute, I qUickly remember how much I enjoy playing and how relaxing it is to focus on a challenge that is entirely different than my research. My flute is very important to me, and I know I would be very sad if I ever stopped playing. Nevertheless, I usually need an extra bit of motivation to pull my flute out of its case, and I can go months without playing during the summer. I am very grateful for the concert band because it ensures that I find time to play every week and motivates me to keep practicing. I fear that if I didn't play in band and chamber music, I wouldn't play at all. Going to NYC and playing in Carnegie Hall was a fantastic experience, but the best perk of being a band member for the past 5 years was making music with Bill and the rest of the band every Thursday. I will miss it!

-Adrienne Erickcek Caltech Graduate Student, Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy

During the past four years playing in the band, I have had the opportunity to get away from the stresses of school and come create music with a group of people as diverse as the music we play. Continuing my trombone skills was not something I saw myself dOing during college but quickly fell in love with the Caltech-Oxy band as soon as I started playing. It has also provided me with the once in a lifetime opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall and see New York. Above all of this, I will always treasure the friendships and support that came out of the wonderful trombone section! To the trombones, thank you for constantly reminding me how young I am, being my weekly entertainment, cooking wonderful family meals, and just being great friends! TROMBONES ROCK!!!

-Dawn Gruber Occidental College , Biochemistry

Jazz band has been a great opportunity for me to get away from the day-to-day stresses and frustrations of being a graduate student and interact with a totally different group of people who happen to be fantastic musicians. Because of the high level of talent, the Caltech jazz band has also been a useful place to meet other musicians to get plugged into some of the local jazz scene. When I left college, I was pretty sure my big band days were over, but I'm very thankful that I've had the ability to stay involved with music through the Caltech band and my graduate experience has been enriched because of it.

- Matt Whited Caltech Graduate Student. Chemistry