Mar 26, 2021

Dordt Band Ranked as National Semi-Finalist

Dordt Band is ranked as national semi-finalist in College Wind Band Division

The Dordt University Wind Symphony has been selected as a semi-finalist in the college wind band division of The American Prize for the Performing Arts.

The American Prize states that they recognize and reward “the best performances by concert bands and wind ensembles in America, based on submitted recordings.”

“The selection is made from hundreds of college bands across the nation, and it is an honor for our Wind Symphony to have been selected as a semi-finalist,” says Dr. Onsby Rose, director of the ensemble and associate professor of music at Dordt.

Dordt was selected as a semi-finalist alongside 11 other schools, including Illinois State University Wind Symphony, University of North Texas Wind Ensemble, the New England Conservatory of Symphonic Winds, Vanderbilt University Wind Symphony, and other prominent collegiate wind bands.

“It's so exciting to be nominated for this award because it shows all the handwork that the ensemble did over the year, and we get to share that music with the world,” says Megan Meyer, a junior trumpet player from Illinois. “This nomination puts Dordt's name out there, and it also shows that even a smaller university like Dordt can hold their own with some of the best bands in the United States.”

The Dordt Wind Symphony has 55 students who participate, and the group recently recorded a full-length album titled Music with Friends with Mark Custom Recording, scheduled to release fall 2021.

“I feel truly blessed to be a part of our strong music program where I can share and strengthen my God-given skills while being surrounded by supportive friends and faculty members,” says Ian Nelson, a sophomore clarinetist from Mason City, Iowa.

The ensemble consists of freshmen through seniors representing the most advanced wind and percussion students studying at Dordt, with only 18 percent of the students in the ensemble majoring in music, and the rest pursuing other majors.

“As always I am honored to stand in front of such a fine group of musicians and I am elated that they are being recognized for their artistry on the national level,” says Rose.

“Through this semester, I have come to truly appreciate the work ethic of all the members, with voluntary independent practice, volunteering their time to other ensembles, and focusing on the tasks on hand during each minute of every rehearsal,” says Nelson. “If you're looking for proof of student engagement, you need not look further than Dordt's Wind Symphony! Dr. Rose is incredibly approachable and is open in a way that invigorates us to do our best not for him or each other, but for the glory of God.”

To learn more about the Dordt University Music Department, visit

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Dordt, located in Sioux Center, Iowa, is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report,, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

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