Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern’s first female director of bands to step down after celebratory last year

The+Bienen+School+of+Music.+Thompson+made+history+as+NU%E2%80%99s+first+woman+director+of+bands+in+1996.
Daily file photo by Seeger Gray
The Bienen School of Music. Thompson made history as NU’s first woman director of bands in 1996.

Mallory Thompson will retire as the John W. Beattie Chair of Music at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern announced Wednesday.

In 1979, Thompson received an undergraduate degree in trumpet performance from Northwestern. 17 years later, she made history as the first woman to fill the prestigious role of director of bands at NU.

Thompson’s retirement will mark the end of her 28-year teaching and conducting career at NU. 

During her tenure, Thompson directed the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, NU’s most selective wind ensemble, which has played in dozens of commissioning consortia, presented several world premieres and recorded five albums.

“The greatest honor of my professional life has been conducting the Symphonic Wind Ensemble,” Thompson said in a Wednesday news release. “I’m proud of the music we have made together and our commitment to honoring the talents of our students every day.”

After she retires, Thompson will continue to practice what she loves by maintaining her position as artistic director of the Northshore Concert Band, a job she’s held for two decades.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will celebrate Thompson in its upcoming season by playing a selection of compositions from their recordings, along with a series of celebrated classical and modern pieces, according to the release.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @lmschroeder_

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