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Cal’s Director of Bands Bob Calonico Announces Retirement

December 7, 2017

After 28 years at UC Berkeley, Robert Calonico will be retiring from his position as Director of Bands at the end of the 2017–2018 academic year.

A Cal alumnus himself, Calonico has taught at the university since 1990, leading the UC Jazz Ensembles for five years before assuming directorship of the Cal Marching Band, which falls under the purview of Cal Performances. At that same time, he resurrected the University Wind Ensemble, which had been a defunct part of the Department of Music since 1977. His tenure with both organizations saw trips to Japan and China, a performance at Super Bowl 50, new music commissions, and interdisciplinary collaborations with other UC Berkeley departments, astronomy and history among them.

In a press release from Cal Performances, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ reflected that “Bob Calonico’s career at Cal is defined by his care for and devotion to our students.” Calonico himself echoed such a sentiment, identifying his role at the university as one of “team building.”

This academic year’s final Wind Ensemble concert is planned for April 22 in Hertz Hall, followed by the group’s scheduled tour to Croatia and Italy in May. A farewell event for Calonico outside of this season schedule is currently in the works and will be announced at a later time.

Peter Feher is an editor at SFCV. He can be reached at [email protected].