A Small Band that Changed the World:
The Impact of Gaetano Carusi and his Italian Band on the American Concert Band
3:30 pm – Thursday, March 8
The Italian band led by Gaetano Carusi, who was recruited for the United States Marine Corps from Catania, Sicily and arrived in Washington, D.C. in 1805, left an indelible mark on the development of the American concert band. Since all bands in America (public school, university, community, and professional) are modeled in some fashion on the military bands, the influence of Carusi’s group of Italian musicians on the nation’s premiere military band in its earliest years cannot be overstated. Their unique instrumentation and approach to programming formed the early paradigm for the American band; the genre of the Italian march had a significant influence on what became the American march; and the honored place of the band in Italian culture influenced the band movement that would, by 1825, become a vital part of American culture. These profoundly important influences have been almost wholly ignored in the existing literature on the history of the wind band.
This session will include a description of wind bands in America before the Italian arrival in 1805, a narrative of the circumstances leading to Carusi’s recruitment and his life in the United States, and a discussion of the Italian influence on programming, instrumentation, march form, and the place of the band in the overall culture of the nation.
Jordan E. Kinsey recently began his first year as Director of Bands at Wesley College. In addition to leadership of the marching band and Wind Symphony, Dr. Kinsey teaches musical theatre and jazz appreciation courses in the core liberal arts curriculum and is tasked with designing and implementing new undergraduate and graduate programs in music education that will launch in the Fall of 2018.
Praised as a tireless and dynamic educator, Dr. Kinsey taught instrumental and vocal music in the public schools of Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, and Pennsylvania before entering doctoral studies. A native of Paducah, KY, he holds the Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Murray State University, the Master of Music in Wind Conducting from Southern Illinois University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where he was a student of Kraig Alan Williams and William L. Berz.
A Staff Sergeant in the United States Army Reserve, Dr. Kinsey currently serves as enlisted conductor of the 380th Army Band in Richmond, Virginia. He is a member of the Delaware Music Educators Association, International Tuba-Euphonium Association, National Association for Music Education, International Society for Music Education, the College Band Directors National Association, and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. He is a life member of the International Percy Grainger Society. In his spare time, he operates a successful clarinet repair shop from the home in Smyrna that he shares with his partner, clarinetist Christopher Nichols, and Finzi the Pomeranian. Dr. Kinsey has published articles in Teaching Music, the WASBE Journal, and the Journal of Band Research and is a book reviewer for Music Educators Journal. Combining a passion for research with his activities as a conductor, he has been invited to present sessions at the New Jersey and Delaware Music Educators Association conferences, the International Society for Music Education conference, the International Society for the Promotion and Research of Wind Music Conference, and the National Association for Music Education National Conference.