The university recently welcomed Dr. Ishbah Cox, former esteemed band director of Olentangy Orange High School, to the Capital Conservatory as the new Director of Wind Ensembles.
Dr. Cox will be directing the Conservatory’s premier group, Symphonic Winds Ensemble, the Wind Symphony Ensemble and the fall Columbus Youth Symphonic Band.
As well as these ensembles, Dr. Cox will be conducting two classes: a beginner and an advanced level class and a music education instrumental pedagogy course.
Low brass professor Tony Zilincik thinks the Conservatory will see “a real growth in the direction in the band,” and “get an even higher level of excellence with him because he just understands how students work and… what the students want to achieve.”
Professor Zilincik has been teaching at the university for 25 years and said that having a new faculty member join the team reinvigorates both the students and the rest of the faculty.
Senior flute player Akira Walls, the student representative of the hiring committee, said that “being able to now see someone who looks similar to me, in the profession that I want to be in, gives me encouragement… to push myself to excellence.”
Dr. Cox intends to accomplish several goals in the conservatory. These goals include diversifying the repertoire of music the bands perform, expanding instrumental recruitment efforts and supporting his students in achieving their full potential.
“I know that I’m doing the right thing… whether we have people who are doing music as a profession or not, that they will be good citizens to the arts, especially music… that they will be consumers and supporters and… continue to play,” said Dr. Cox.
His music background started in childhood; his passion developed through his family’s love of jazz, blues, gospel and classical music. Over time, he also expanded his love of music to the hard rock genre and beyond.
Throughout his educational journey, he learned to play euphonium, bass trombone, tuba and baritone horn. When he first started playing music, his family did not have the money to rent instruments to practice.
Dr. Cox cites his family and his first band director as his inspiration to go into music education. They created a safe haven for him to express himself, so he wanted to make a safe environment for his own students.
The Conservatory boasts impressive programs and events, including upcoming wind ensemble concerts at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 6, 2023 and 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2023 in Mees Hall.
Most notably, BandFest is an intensive opportunity for high school students from all around Ohio to spend three days practicing a piece with a culminating performance. Dr. Cox will play an integral role in this year’s programming, occurring from Nov. 10-12, 2023.
Students can support the Conservatory by following the Capital Conservatory of Music Facebook page for performance announcements, faculty updates, student recitals and more!