Auburn graduate teaching assistant becomes first African American female chosen for U.S. Army Band Conductors Workshop

Published: June 27, 2019
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LaToya Webb, a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Music in Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts, has been selected to attend the 2019 U.S. Army Band Conductors Workshop this summer, becoming the first African American female chosen for this prestigious event and one of only five conductor/participants selected by a national audition process.

“I remember having a spiritual moment, thanking God for this opportunity and sharing the excellent news with my family and friends who were just as excited for me,” Webb said. “I felt that I had accomplished a goal, an inner desire, something which I have worked extremely hard for over the years as a double minority in a field dominated by males. Attending The U.S. Army Band Conductors Workshop is a chance of a lifetime, and I am beyond thankful and honored of being selected.”

The U.S. Army Band, also known as "Pershing's Own," is the premier musical organization of the United States Army and was founded in 1922. Throughout the four-day workshop, Webb will partake in intensive conducting/rehearsing opportunities with the premier ensemble. She will also be mentored by guest clinician Michael Haithcock, director of bands at the University of Michigan, and Col. Andrew Esch, The U.S. Army Band leader and commander. The workshop will culminate in her guest conducting The U.S. Army Band Concert Band in the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, Virginia on July 18 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be live streamed by The U.S. Army Band on Facebook and YouTube.

Webb said she hopes this workshop helps her to gain experiences that are beneficial to her life-long goals as a music educator, conductor, musician and artist.

"This experience will aid me in reaching my goals to influence the lives of individuals through music, to endeavor to be a culturally diverse role model and to support students in their trajectory in academics and personal growth," Webb said.

Webb is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and is pursuing a doctoral degree in instrumental music education. Webb has been teaching undergraduate courses and is the graduate conductor of the Auburn University symphonic winds. Webb also assists with undergraduate instrumental conducting, administration of educational programs and departmental promotional materials. Prior to this position, she was the music director and activities/events coordinator at Somerset Prep D.C. in Washington, D.C., and has also taught music in Richmond Public Schools.

"We are proud of LaToya Webb for this national recognition and for her many other accomplishments in the field of instrumental music education," said Rick Good, Auburn University’s director of bands and chair of the Department of Music.

For more information about Webb, visit: https://cla.auburn.edu/music/faculty-staff/latoya-webb/.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.