Professor spreads his love of music in Singapore and China

September 11 2008

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - An Indiana State University music professor spent part of his summer spreading his love of music to students and music professionals in Singapore and China.

John Boyd, director of Bands, professor of music, and coordinator of ISU's Wind/Percussion Division, conducted the Central Conservatory Wind Orchestra in two concerts in Beijing in addition to teaching a masterclass for the Conservatory's conducting students and judging the China Trumpet Guild and All Asia Solo Competition in Guangzhou.

According to Boyd, wind orchestra literature is just coming into vogue in China.

"They are now very interested in this type of music," he said. "I gave them some of the CDs Indiana State and my professional ensembles have recorded."

Boyd also observed the ever-changing face of Beijing.

"I was there as they were preparing to host the Olympics," he said.

While Beijing was center stage in the sports world during the Olympics, the city has higher aspirations.

"Beijing has traditionally been China's political center. Now they are trying to raise their cultural profile," he said. "They have a very dramatic new concert complex that complements all the new buildings designed for the Olympics."

It wasn't just all about music for the professor in China. He did take time to visit a well-known and recognized attraction - The Great Wall.

"I climbed the highest point of The Great Wall," Boyd said proudly. "It took a lot out of me - between the sun, dehydration and the three-hour rehearsal afterward."

His work at Central Conservatory allowed him to work with a friend -- Dai Zhonghui, conductor of the Symphonic Wind Orchestra of Central Conservatory of Music and trumpet professor.

"He's Mr. Trumpet in China," Boyd said. "He is president of the China Trumpet Guild, a Yamaha clinician in China and was the first trumpet in the National Symphony."

Boyd met Zhonghui two years ago when they were teaching at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of the National University of Singapore.

"We lived very close to each other during that time and became good friends," he said.

He persuaded Zhonghui to come to Indiana State to perform in two concerts this fall. The two friends will share duties during the Oct. 16 concert of ISU's Wind Orchestra. Zhonghui will show Wabash Valley residents and students why he's known as Mr. Trumpet during a solo recital Oct. 7.

Boyd also spent a week in Singapore, working to establish a chamber wind group within the Singapore Symphony.

Considered to be one of the most dynamic wind conductors in the country today, Boyd is equally at home with educational and professional organizations. He has guest conducted The U.S. Army Band twice and conducted/lectured at the Royal Northern College of Music at Manchester, UK.

Boyd recorded two critically-acclaimed albums with the Kent State University Wind Ensemble which was released on ELF as "John Boyd Conducts American." In 1995, he released, to rave reviews, the compact disc "Capriccio" with the Indiana State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Faculty Winds. Three additional compact discs were released: "Tapestries and Wind Songs," featuring the ISU Faculty Winds, and "Symphonic Moments," featuring the ISU Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

Working with internationally-acclaimed conductor Frederick Fennell, he founded Philharmonia a Vent, a professional wind orchestra in residence at ISU.

The ensemble, under the direction of Boyd, has released three recordings for internationally-known Klavier Music Productions. "Ghosts," recorded in ISU's Tilson Auditorium in August 2004; "Laude," recorded in June 2005 and "Reflections," recorded in September 2006.

An active arranger and composer of all forms of wind ensemble music, he has published works in the catalogs of Ludwig, G. Schirmer, Barnhouse, Cole, and Associated Music.


Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or


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An Indiana State University music professor spent part of his summer spreading his love of music to students and music professionals in Singapore and China.

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