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KU School of Music selects new Director of Bands

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Paul W. Popiel was selected as the new Director of Bands at the University of Kansas. He will succeed current band director, Scott Weiss.

Popiel is only the seventh person to hold the position of Director of Bands in the band's nearly 125 year history.  Dr. Popiel will assume the responsibilities of conducting the KU Wind Ensemble, directing the graduate program in wind conducting, and guiding all aspects of the university band program.

Popiel's previous appointments include the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Oklahoma State University. He also enjoyed six years teaching in the public schools of Texas and Michigan.

Popiel has performed throughout North America and Japan.  Recent and upcoming engagements include residencies at the University of Central Arkansas, Roosevelt University, and Wayne State University, All-State Bands in Michigan, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, and honor bands in Oklahoma, Michigan, Indiana, Utah, and Kansas.  He has produced two of the previous KU Wind Ensemble CDs for the Naxos Label, both under the direction of Scott Weiss.

A proponent of distinctive new music, Popiel has commissioned and premiered numerous new works for wind ensemble and chamber winds. Recent premieres include music by David Dzubay, Kevin Walczyk, Kevin Wilt, Tamar Diesendruck, and Joni Greene.

Popiel holds degrees from Truman State University, the University of Notre Dame, and Michigan State University.  A recipient of a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, he also earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Twentieth-Century Music at the University of Bristol, England.  Popiel was the 2003 Frank L. Battisti Conducting Fellow serving as the Resident Conductor of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Paul, his wife Julie, and their two sons live in Lawrence, Kansas.

For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436. Music.ku.edu



School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.