Deanna Swoboda

Music professor to host international brass conference at ASU

By

Lynne MacDonald

Deanna Swoboda, associate professor in the ASU School of Music, has enjoyed a vibrant career as a performer, educator and entrepreneur, but she said one of her most challenging roles yet is serving as the official conference host for 500-plus brass players at the International Women’s Brass Conference at ASU on May 21–25. 

Swoboda, an Eastman tuba artist, carved a path for herself as a tuba player performing and teaching around the world when there were only a handful of women with careers playing tuba and serving as role models for female musicians. She has played the tuba in hundreds of concerts, solo recitals and presentations throughout the U.S. and Europe; taught tuba and euphonium; developed music and entrepreneurship programs; coached chamber music; and presented at prestigious conferences and meetings as an advocate for music education. Swoboda, an ASU alumnus (DMA '10), co-hosted the 2012 conference at Western Michigan University and was invited by IWBC to host the international conference held at the ASU School of Music this year.

“I was excited to accept the IWBC invitation to host the conference as it features women brass players, is a great recruiting opportunity for potential students and provides great visibility for ASU,” Swoboda said.

She said IWBC is the largest conference she has ever been involved with and this year’s conference has record numbers of registrations and competitors. Conference attendees will be a combination of mostly professors and college students from different universities, some professional performers and some high school students. The conference is open to all genders but features mostly women and new works, and conference featured artists include seven women who have held or still hold major prominent brass positions.

“One of my best hopes for this conference is to make women in music — specifically women brass players and women composers — more visible to the global community,” said Swoboda.

The conference schedule includes recitals, presentations, master classes, mock auditions, competitions, exhibits and evening concerts open to the public. There are solo and small ensemble competitions throughout three days, with 150 to 200 competitors and mock auditions for orchestras and military bands. Two of the evening concerts will open with student ensembles. All participants have the opportunity to play in an ensemble led by a professional. The various ensembles, including euphonium, horn, trumpet and trombone, will perform in concert on Saturday. The U.S. Army Bands for Horn and Tuba, a conference exhibitor, will also be holding auditions on Saturday for available positions in their horn and tuba bands.

Evening concerts will be held at the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre in the Music Building on ASU’s Tempe campus and are open to the public:

May 22, 7:30 p.m.: Tempe Winds with Phoenix Brass Collective

May 23, 7 p.m.: Athena Brass Band

May 24, 7 p.m.: Women in Jazz

May 25, 7:30 p.m.: Monarch Brass Ensemble