Metropolitan Winds

Music Director Gregory Hustis

Gregory HustisMr. Gregory Hustis becomes Music Director effective September 1, 2017. Mr. Hustis is only the second Music Director in the wind ensemble's long history.

Mr. Hustis was Principal Horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1976 to 2012, at which time he became Principal Horn Emeritus. Mr. Hustis has performed as a concerto soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Abilene Philharmonic, the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra (Colo.), the Knoxville Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Florida West Coast Symphony, the Latvian Chamber Orchestra, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra (Seattle), the National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge), the Hamilton Philharmonic (Ontario), the Wichita Falls Symphony, and, on numerous occasions, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to joining the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Hustis appeared on many occasions with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and was, for four years, Principal Horn of the Hamilton Philharmonic in Ontario, Canada. He has performed and toured with Summit Brass, and in 1986 performed with Lorin Maazel with the World Philharmonic Orchestra in Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to his varied performance schedule, Mr. Hustis has taught horn for over thirty years at Southern Methodist University, where in 1995 he was presented the Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award. He has served on numerous boards and advisory boards, including that of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, the International Horn Society, the American Horn Competition, Voices of Change, Blue Candlelight Series and the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation. In 2011, Hustis was appointed Music Director of the University of Texas at Dallas Wind Ensemble.

Associate Conductor Frank Felice

Frank FeliceSince 2003, Frank Felice has served as Associate Conductor of the Metropolitan Winds.

Mr. Felice is currently the Director of Fine Arts for the Little Elm Independent School District and serves as Director of Bands at Little Elm High School. Before coming to Little Elm, he was the Associate Director for the DeSoto, Texas High School Band. He has been Director at Edgar Martin Middle School in Lafayette, Louisiana, during which time his bands received the highest possible ratings at both the district and state levels. His bands have also competed in the Best in Class Championships at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas and the National Adjudicators Invitational Festival in San Antonio, Texas. While at Edgar Martin, Mr. Felice received the "Teacher of the Year" Award in 1999.

Mr. Felice has served as a guest honor band conductor, adjudicator, marching clinician, drill instructor, and low brass technician. While at L.S.U. working on his Master's degree, Mr. Felice served as a teaching assistant with the band department. He was responsible for teaching each of the various concert ensembles as well as extensive work with the "Golden Band from Tigerland."

As a euphonium player, Mr. Felice has performed with the L.S.U. Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Low Brass Ensemble as well as with the graduate tuba-euphonium quartet, Tsunami. This quartet placed third in the International Tuba-Euphonium Quartet Competition which was held in Lahti, Finland in the Summer of 2001.

Mr. Felice received both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from L.S.U.

Music Director Emeritus Randol Bass

photo of Randol BassMr. Bass, the composer, has achieved an impressive array of performances and commissions by prestigious ensembles throughout the United States, among these: the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra. His Gloria was premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1990 by the New York Pops Orchestra under Skitch Henderson; this same composition has been recorded by the Boston Pops Orchestra with Keith Lockhart and can be heard on their Christmas CD release, Holiday Pops.

His arrangement of Conquest of Paradise, by Vangelis, was commissioned by the Boston Pops Orchestra and can be heard on their 2000 CD re-release Summon the Heroes, under the baton of eminent film composer John Williams. Additionally, his works have been performed by the Tanglewood Chorus, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Grand Rapids Symphony and Chorus, the Dallas Symphony and Chorus as well as numerous other orchestras and choruses throughout the U. S. and Europe. Active since the late 1970's as an arranger, Mr. Bass is now focusing his talents on original composition, largely due to the demand for his music. In addition to compositions for several of this nation's Armed Service Bands, he has composed an extensive Christmas cantata, commissioned and recently premiered by the First Methodist Church of Lancaster, PA.

Mr. Bass, the performer, sang regularly with the Dallas Symphony Chorus. During the summer of 1997, he toured with that ensemble on their Israeli tour, performing Mahler's Symphony #8 under the baton of Zubin Mehta. More recently, he performed as solo pianist with the Coast Guard Academy Band in New London, CT in his own wind transcription of Ernst von Dohnanyi's Variations on a Nursery Tune. And, of course, Mr. Bass performed regularly with Metropolitan Winds as vocal and piano soloist as well as reprising the role of 'Michigan J. Frog' in "One Froggy Evening".

Born in Fort Worth in 1953, Mr. Bass grew up in Midland, Texas, studying piano, working in community theater and singing with local choral ensembles. A longtime student of choral music, Mr. Bass earned his Bachelors Degree in 1976 from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting in 1980 from The College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, OH, and pursued doctoral studies in choral and wind conducting at both Ohio State University's Robert Shaw Institute and the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Bass has historically worked actively in his various communities to further the non-professional musician's understanding and appreciation for the musical arts. He has founded several civic wind and choral groups during his career, helping to provide other musicians the opportunities he enjoyed as a young performer in civic orchestras, bands and theater groups. He founded the Austin Symphonic Band in 1982 and was its Music Director and Conductor for four years. That group continues to perform as the official musical ensemble for the City of Austin. He was with the Metropolitan Winds from June 1993 to June 2015.

In the fall of 2003, Mr. Bass conducted the National Symphony of London and the Tallis Choir in a CD compendium of many of his Holiday compositions and arrangements, subsequently released under the title A Feast of Carols. Mr. Bass has also conducted the Rochester Philharmonic and Chorale as well as the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and will be maintaining an active conducting schedule as well as appearing from time to time with Metropolitan Winds as Music Director Emeritus.

Founder Larry Mendez

As founder and president of the Metropoitan Winds from 1993 to 1997, Larry had the vision to create a community ensemble with a broader appeal and market than just one city. Instead of a pigeon-holed town band headed by the local high school band director, Larry opened up membership to talented musicians from all over the Metroplex and secured the talents of Randol Bass, a nationally-recognized composer, as Musical Director and Conductor. City events were the ensemble's first public performances in 1993.

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