Music Professor’s Composition Wins at International Competition

Robert Spittal
Professor Robert Spittal

September 04, 2019
Gonzaga News Service
SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University music Professor Robert Spittal’s composition “Diversions” captured first prize at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Contest Finals at the International Conference last month in Bunol, Spain.

As part of the prize, WASBE will organize performances of “Diversions” on all continents next year, including a special World Event featuring a live broadcast performance and interviews with the composer, directors and musicians about the composition. The competition was judged by internationally renowned composers and conductors. Spittal teaches courses on conducting, American music, and music creation.

Commissioned in 2018 by a consortium of more than 20 universities, “Diversions” is a 16-minute, five-movement work for solo clarinet and symphonic wind ensemble. The work received several performances in the United States and Canada last season, including a Gonzaga Wind Ensemble performance with soloist Shandra Helman last November.

WASBE is an international association dedicated to symphonic wind bands and wind ensembles as serious and distinctive mediums of musical expression and cultural heritage, with a membership of over 1,000 individuals and organizations in more than 50 countries.

For more information, please contact Robert Spittal at (509) 313-6736 or