[m] was conceived by Robert Ponto, David Vickerman and a committee of students in the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble in the fall of 2008. The idea was present a concert “event” that gave the audience more control in what they wanted to hear and be a part of. The first [m] event included three different non-traditional venues and the evening was capped off with a performance of Terry Riley’s In C that the audience was encouraged to participate in. The philosophy behind the [m] events is to break down the invisible wall between the audience and performers and to make this music accessible in new and creative ways.
Robert Ponto is associate professor of conducting and director of bands at the University of Oregon. He conducts the Oregon Wind Ensemble, supervises the graduate program in wind conducting, and serves as coordinator of recruitment and outreach. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he received degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Prior to his appointment at the University of Oregon in 1992, Ponto held conducting/teaching posts at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, East Carolina University, Pacific Lutheran University, and in the public schools of West St. Paul–Mendota Heights, Minnesota.
David Vickerman is the Director of Bands at Johns Hopkins University. He conducts the Wind Ensemble and directs the Pep Band. He is also currently in the Wind Conducting DMA program at The Peabody Institute and assists with the Peabody Wind Ensemble and beginning-advanced conducting courses. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Wind Conducting at the University of Oregon in 2010. While at the University of Oregon, he was the conductor of the Oregon Campus Band and Oregon Brass Ensemble in addition to the regular assistant conductor with the Oregon Wind Ensemble. Prior to his work at the University of Oregon, he was the Director of Bands at Lodi High School in Lodi, California and he held the position of Music Director at Hilmar High School in Hilmar, California the year before that. In 2002, Mr. Vickerman graduated from California State University Stanislaus with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education and received his California teaching credential the following year.