Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band Final Concert a Tribute to Miami Composers


The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band (SOSB) will play the final concert of their 53rd season on April 23 at Dave Finkelman Auditorium in Middletown at 2:30 p.m. The theme of the concert is titled "The Miami Connection: Composers of M.U."

Featured composers include Edward F. Howard, Steven Reineke, and David Shaffer, all Miami graduates. The band will play the Miami Fight Song, along with other selections.

25% of the band—now at 80 members—have Miami degrees.

“'The Miami Connection,’ grew out a request from Miami Graduate, Edward Howard's request, to perform his 'Symphonic Legacy' he wrote in 2008 for the band's 40th anniversary. That simple request grew to include Miami composers David Shaffer and Steven Reineke, "The Purple Heart" of Shaffer, and Reineke's "The Witch and the Saint," said Director of the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band Dan Nichols.

The band was founded in 1969 by William Stiehl, a graduate of Miami University, band director, and Coordinator of Music, Art, and Physical Education for the Middletown City School District.

Today, the band is part of Miami University's Institute for Learning in Retirement, but is a self-supporting fine arts organization funded by patron donations and sponsors.

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About the composers 

Edward Howard resides in North Bend, Ohio, and studied music at Miami University earning both his bachelor’s and master’s Degrees in music. While studying music theory and composition, Mr. Howard composed music for symphonic band and orchestra. He has served as Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Civic Orchestra and performed in the viola section. Mr. Howard also performed on the euphonium.

Steven Reineke lives in New York City and is the Music Director of The New York City Pops Orchestra, one of the largest independent pops orchestras in the United States. Born in 1970 and raised in Tipp City, Ohio, Reineke focused his youthful musical pursuits on learning to play the trumpet. At age fifteen, he taught himself how to play piano. Reineke graduated from Miami University in 1993 and has worked with the Cincinnati Pops as Music Assistant and Principal Composer/Arranger, and has orchestrated music for the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra. Reineke made his conducting debut in 1996 with the National Symphony and shared the podium with Erich Kunzel, renowned Pops conductor.

David Shaffer was born in Columbus, Ohio and attended Grove City High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University and a Master of Music Degree from Miami University. An active composer, Mr. Shaffer has over 300 compositions and arrangements in print. His compositions are performed at clinics and music festivals around the world. Shaffer played alto saxophone with the SOSB, taught in Hamilton and Wyoming City Schools in Ohio, and was a member of the music faculty and director the Miami University Marching Band.