Directors of the Eugene Symphonic Band exemplify a tradition of rare musical talent. Robert Vagner, our founder, had an international reputation. Successors have graced the podium with their own style and interpretive flair. This rich musical tradition continues as the ESB celebrates its 62nd season.
Dr. Wayne Bennett was the first conductor to follow Robert Vagner as ESB conductor from 1985-87 after joining the UO School of Music faculty in 1978 as conductor of the wind ensemble, clarinet professor, and member of the faculty Woodwind Quintet. Previous university positions included UW-LaCrosse, where he also conducted the LaCrosse City Band, and IU-Fort Wayne where he was founding director of the Fort Wayne Community Band.
Dr. Bennett was also appointed as Visiting Professor at UCLA in 1984-85, conducting the wind ensemble and symphonic band. In 1989 he became the UO Director of Orchestral Studies and in 1991-92 was appointed as conductor of the Cyprus State Orchestra and Youth Orchestra under the auspices of Arts America and a Senior Fulbright Award.
In addition to being an international clinician, conductor, master teacher, and adjudicator, he was also a founding member of College Orchestra Directors Association and was Music Director/Conductor of the Cascade Festival of Music in Bend, Oregon. from 1983-1995. Dr. Bennett became Professor Emeritus of the University of Oregon School of Music in 2011.