Paul W. Popiel is the Director of Bands at the University of Kansas, only the seventh person to hold this position in the band’s 125-year history. He conducts the KU Wind Ensemble, directs the graduate program in wind conducting, and guides all aspects of the university band program. His previous appointments include the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Oklahoma State University. He also enjoyed six years teaching in the public schools of Texas and Michigan. His Carnegie Hall début in 2013, featuring the music heard on this recording, was heralded by the New York Times: “The ensemble, conducted by Paul W. Popiel, performed with polish, assurance and copious spirit, eliciting a rousing ovation;” while New York’s Feast of Music said, “Give credit to Popiel, a strong advocate for new music, who went for broke, succeeding in showing us that there is, in fact, real, adventurous music being made over on the other side of the rainbow.” Popiel has lectured and performed throughout North America, Europe, Singapore, and Japan. He has produced several recordings for the Wind Band Classics series on the Naxos label. A proponent of distinctive new music, Popiel has commissioned and premièred numerous new works for wind ensemble and chamber winds, including works by composers Mohammed Fairouz, Michael Torke, Kevin Walczyk, David Dzubay, Tamar Diesendruck, and Joni Greene. He holds degrees from Truman State University, the University of Notre Dame, and Michigan State University. A recipient of a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, he also earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Twentieth-Century Music at the University of Bristol, England. Popiel was the Frank L. Battisti Conducting Fellow serving as the resident conductor of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.