UM Prof Earns ‘Editor’s Choice’ Honors for Band Composition 

Kathy Dean ASOTA, News

Steve Dunn, associate professor of music and director of instrumental studies in the Alabama School of the Arts at the University of Mobile, is a composer/arranger/orchestrator with approximately 300 works in catalogs of numerous publishing houses. J.W. Pepper, the largest distributor of sheet music in the world, just named his composition, “A New Horizon,” an “Editor’s Choice” selection as one of the year’s best new band compositions from all publishers. We asked Dunn to tell us more:

Mr. Steve Dunn

“We host the University of Mobile High School Honor Band on our campus every February. Starting with the 2014 Honor Band, I began an annual tradition of composing a piece for that group to premiere as part of their experience with us. The 2021 Honor Band was particularly challenging, occurring during the heart of the pandemic – the event was held under a half-open tent on our lawn, it was unusually cold and wet, but we DID manage to pull it off and were one of the only universities across several states to do so. It turned out to be a real success for us that bled over into record-high participation in this year’s Honor Band as well.” 

“Because of the circumstances, I wanted to compose something that would be upbeat, joyful and hopeful. I titled the piece ‘A New Horizon’ and it was well-received by the students. Carl Fischer, a well-regarded publisher of educational and professional music, accepted the piece and it was released in May of this year. I have had choral works over the years selected as a J.W. Pepper ‘Editor’s Choice,’ but this is my first work for band to be so named.”

The University of Mobile Honor Band will be held February 9-11, 2023. To learn more about UM Honor Band for students in grades 9-12, visit umobile.edu/honorband or email Steve Dunn at sdunn@umobile.edu. For more information about the Alabama School of the Arts at the University of Mobile, go to umobile.edu/asota or call 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is assistant vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.