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K-State News

Craig B. Parker

Associate professor of music

Craig B. Parker, associate professor of music, has taught at Kansas State University since 1982, serving as director of graduate studies in music from 1991 to 1999. He teaches graduate and undergraduate music history and literature courses, and plays trumpet with the Kansas State University Faculty Brass Quintet. He is on the board of the Friends of the K-State Libraries.

Parker's research interests include music by Venetian composers of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the music of Handel, the musicians associated with Sousa's Band, music since 1945 — especially that of Edwin Gerschefski, Alan Hovhaness, Young Jo Lee, Gunther Schuller, Nicolas Slonimsky, Igor Stravinsky, Joan Tower, John Vincent and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich — and brass music of all epochs.

He has published more than 40 articles and reviews in such scholarly journals as Ad Parnassum, American Music, Brass Bulletin, Bulletin of the Society for American Music, College Music Society Newsletter, College Music Symposium, Composer/USA, Historic Brass Society Journal, International Trumpet Guild Journal, Newsletter of the Institute for Studies in American Music and the Sonneck Society Bulletin. He has delivered scholarly papers and performed at numerous regional, national and international conferences in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States.

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of John Philip Sousa, Parker presented lectures on "the March King" and his professional concert band in Australia, Great Britain, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska and Ohio. In fall 2004, Parker taught what was probably the first graduate-level seminar devoted to the life and works of Sousa. In spring 2011, Parker taught an updated version of that seminar in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the round-the-world tour by Sousa's Band.

Formerly president of the American Band History Research Interest Group of the Society for American Music, Parker is currently board member for musicology with the College Music Society. He is co-founder, director and cornet soloist with the SAM Brass Band, which performs annually at conference of the Society for American Music.  His recent conference presentations include a performance of Young Jo Lee's "Sori 13" for unaccompanied trumpet at the Composition in Asia International Symposium and Festival in Tampa, Florida, in January 2015. Other conference appearances include the lecture "Philanthropist Huntington Hartford and His Influence on American Music" at the Society for American Music annual conference in Sacramento, California, in March 2015; the lecture "Edwin Gerschefski:  Chameleon Composer from Georgia" at the American Musicological Society South-Central spring meeting in March 2016; and the lecture "Igor Stravinsky at the Ojai Music Festival," at the International Musicological Society conference in Stavanger, Norway in July 2016..

Parker received the K-State chapter of Phi Kappa Phi's Artist Award in Fine Arts, Creative Arts, Graphic and Visual Arts, and/or the Performing Arts in 2005, the first musician to win this award.  He is a recipient of the William L. Stamey Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from K-State's College of Arts & Sciences. He was honored in March 2011 with the Distinguished Service Citation from the Society for American Music "in recognition of his sustained contributions to the society and its appreciation for nurturing our national music."

Formerly an associate editor of the International Trumpet Guild Journal, Parker was editor of the Recording Reviews column for the journal American Music, published by the University of Illinois Press, from 1993 to 2006. He was on the advisory board, for the area of brass and woodwind players, for "The Grove Dictionary of American Music," published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

He earned his Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance with honors from the University of Georgia and his Master of Arts and doctorate in historical musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Parker also attended the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, and did postdoctoral work at the University of Michigan in 1984 and at Harvard University in 1991 on fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Parker has been a member of the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto (Italy) Festival Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Composers Brass Quintet and many other symphonic and chamber groups. He is co-founder, director and solo cornetist with the Society for American Music Brass Band, an organization that specializes in the performance of 19th-century American brass band music. His recording, with Robert Edwards, of Petr Eben's 1976 composition, "Windows" for trumpet and organ, for Arnold Sound Recordings, has been featured on the Public Radio International program, "Pipedreams."

Parker maintains an active private studio of noncollegiate brass students. His former students have won three national solo competitions, placed second in national competitions four times, and have won honorable mention in three national solo competitions. His former private students perform with the Kansas City and Phoenix symphonies as well as several regional orchestras.

Parker can be reached at 785-532-3810 or cbp@k-state.edu.