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Award-Winning Conductor and Composer to Lead Performance This Week
LOWELL ߝ Daniel Lutz, director of university bands at UMass Lowell, has been named to the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) hall of fame.
Lutz was chosen for the Paul Smith Hall of Fame Award by MICCA, which represents music educators who teach elementary-school through college-level student performers. The statewide group’s activities include sponsoring musical competitions, awarding scholarships, providing educational resources and soliciting original compositions to be performed by student musicians.
Lutz, a Dracut resident who is originally from Arlington, has been a part of UMass Lowell’s Department of Music for two decades. As director of bands, he conducts the University’s marching and concert bands, as well as the jazz rock big band that also serves as the pep band at UMass Lowell hockey games. In addition, Lutz is an accomplished composer whose work includes “Dichotomy…Impressions of Kerouac,” which was commissioned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.”
On Thursday, April 24, Lutz will lead the jazz rock big band in a performance at 7:30 p.m. at Durgin Concert Hall on UMass Lowell’s South Campus. The 20-piece ensemble performs contemporary big band music and this week’s concert will focus on post-swing era jazz.
To be considered for MICCA’s hall of fame, a music educator must have been a director in Massachusetts for 10 years, have a variety of conducting experiences, be active in promoting the values of music education both in the locally and across the state, recognize the importance of professional growth and be a model of professionalism.
The award is named for the late Paul Smith, who was director of bands at Abington High School for many years and who was respected statewide for his musicality, professionalism and character. The Paul Smith Hall of Fame plaque, engraved with Lutz’s name will reside at UMass Lowell for a year.
Past recipients of the award include the late Walter Chesnut, who was a member of the UMass Amherst music faculty for more than three decades; George Parks, who has been UMass Amherst’s band director for 30 years; Frank Battisti, conductor emeritus of the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble; and Paul Alberta, former director of music in the Norwood school system and founding member of MICCA.
"It’s quite an honor,” Lutz said. “That is a collection of people that I hold in the highest esteem. These are extraordinary conductors and educators. They have had a huge impact on a whole lot of people’s lives. Just to be included in the same breath as those people is an honor.”
UMass Lowell, with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 12,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education. www.uml.edu.