Concordia University Ann Arbor Wind Ensemble

A piece performed by Concordia University Ann Arbor’s Wind Ensemble is among the best performances of small collegiate programs nationwide.

CUAA ensemble rehearsal
Behind the scenes of a CUAA ensemble rehearsal.

Last week, Concordia received news from the College Band Directors National Association that its submitted recording of James Stephenson’s “Luther in Canon”—a piece that CUAA commissioned for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation—has been selected for recognition at the 2019 CBDNA National Conference in Tempe, Arizona from Feb. 20-23, 2019.

Every other year, the CBDNA invites colleges of less than 5,000 students to submit recordings for inclusion in the Small Band Program Showcase. While scores of bands from across the nation biannually submit recordings, less than 10 are typically chosen for recognition through a blind peer-review process.

“This is a tremendous honor for our program,” said Dr. Bill Perrine, chair of the music department and assistant professor of music. “It is one of the top recognitions on a national level that a program our size can receive. I am extremely proud of all the hard work of the members, past and present, of the CUAA Wind Ensemble who have elevated our program to what has now been recognized as one of the best collegiate band programs in the nation.”

The CUAA Wind Ensemble premiered the award-winning piece in fall 2017. The commissioned composition features the tune “A Mighty Fortress is our God” interwoven with other Reformation-era classics.

The band again notably performed the piece on April 1 at the 2018 Chicago International Music Festival for which CUAA received a prestigious invite to be a Showcase Performance Group. The festival was held at the Symphony Center in Chicago, one of the nation’s most renowned music venues.

Click below to listen to the CUAA Wind Ensemble perform “Luther in Canon.”

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor and Wisconsin. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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