Director of Bands
Mitchell J. Fennell is Professor Emeritus and recently retired, Director of Bands and Coordinator of Wind Studies at Cal State Fullerton. Dr. Fennell joined the School of Music Faculty at CSUF in 1986 and during his tenure he conducted the University Wind Symphony, Symphonic Winds and the University Band, and taught undergraduate and graduate instrumental conducting, courses in wind literature and courses in music education.
The University Wind Symphony, under the direction of Dr. Fennell, produced six compact disc recordings featuring the music of Warren Benson, Alfred Reed, Richard Wagner, Paul Hindemith, Karel Husa, Leslie Bassett, Zdenek Lukas, and Vincent Persichetti. Their most recent recording, Monuments and Motifs, featuring Hakan Rosengren in the premier recording of Frank Ticheli’s Concerto for Clarinet and Band, and Dragon Rhyme by Chen Ye has been featured on the nationally syndicated radio program Wind and Rhythm. Fennell has conducted world premiers of William Kraft’s Vintage Renaissance and Beyond and Kraft’s Concerto for Timpani and Wind Ensemble in addition to many other works commissioned by Cal State Fullerton.
During his tenure at CSUF the Wind Symphony performed at music conventions and festivals in South Korea, Japan, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Portugal and China. The They also performed numerous times at the California Music Educators conferences the College Band Directors National Association Western Regional Conventions, and at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association annual conferences
In addition to his duties at Cal State Fullerton, Professor Fennell conducted a live Public Radio broadcast of Myer Kupferman’s Images of Chagall and Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat. He also published a teaching guide to “Winds of Nagual” by Michael Colgrass, which appears in the second volume of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band by Richard Miles. He appeared several times as guest conductor with the National Army Band of Portugal, National Guard Band of Portugal, The Police Band of Lisbon, and the Sociedade Imparcial 15 de Janeiro de 1898 in Alcochete, and the Band of the Sociedade Filarmónica Harmonia Reguenguense in Reguengos de Monsaraz. He also held the title of Artist in Residence in Conducting at the Escola de Musica do Conservatorio Nacional in Lisbon.
Dr. Fennell received his Bachelor of Music degree from Long Beach State University and the Master of Music and Doctorate of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado. He holds an Honorary Life Membership in the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association and is a recipient of the Orpheus Award from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He is also a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha. In retirement, Dr. Fennell serves on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Crest Youth Arts Organization, teaches part-time at area universities, guest conducts, and gives private instruction to aspiring young conductors. He is also a member of the Golden State Bonsai Federation.