Portrait of ASU Associate Professor Jason Caslor.

ASU director of bands receives international award

By

Lynne MacDonald

Jason Caslor, associate professor and director of bands in Arizona State University's School of Music, Dance and Theatre, has been awarded the 2022 International Band Award by the Canadian Band Association.

Caslor was presented with the award by Darrin Oehlerking, director of the University of Saskatchewan Wind Orchestra and associate dean of student affairs for the College of Arts and Science. Oehlerking is also a past president of the Canadian Band Association.

“I was completely surprised when they presented me with the award,” Caslor said. “I was guest conducting in Canada at the Halifax Community Band Festival when one of the other conductors, Dr. Darrin Oehlerking, stopped between pieces and began talking to the audience about the award and its criteria. It was extra special having Darrin present the award, as we have known each other for over 20 years, and he is one of my absolute closest friends.”

Caslor was nominated by the Saskatchewan Band Association and is only the sixth recipient of the award since 1991.

The award recognizes those individuals who have embraced the ideals of the Canadian Band Association (CBA) and have contributed to the promotion, growth and development of the musical, educational and cultural values of Canadian band outside of Canada.

A champion of Canadian band compositions and values, Caslor said he relishes every opportunity to introduce Canadian wind band music to new ensembles and audiences.

“Caslor was the visionary behind CBA’s Howard Cable Memorial Prize in Composition, which allows for development and recognition of the importance of music for developing wind bands,” Oehlerking said. “He is extremely supportive and active in commissioning new works for winds, and champions established and emerging composers’ efforts to push the envelope for winds as a serious art form.”

Caslor, a master teacher and educational clinician for Conn-Selmer, has taught at every level, from elementary music to graduate students. He is also committed to community-building and mentorship through his involvement with the United Sound project, which aims to remove barriers and foster social change through music.

Caslor holds degrees from ASU, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Manitoba in Canada. He is in demand as a guest conductor and adjudicator across North America and has conducted honor bands across Canada and the United States. He has commissioned numerous new works for wind bands and has given presentations and master classes in the United States, Canada and Europe. In 2019, he was co-chair of the 2019 College Band Directors National Association National Convention, which was held at ASU.

“I consider myself very fortunate to both teach at ASU and still have numerous opportunities each year to return to Canada to collaborate with many of its amazing music educators and musicians,” Caslor said. “I truly love ASU and all the opportunities it has afforded me and my family. I am also a fiercely proud Canadian. Without a doubt, it was the guidance and mentorship that I received growing up in Canada that built the foundation for the successes I have had here at ASU.”