All ears will be pleased this evening as the West Virginia University Wind Symphony holds its first performance of the school year at the Creative Arts Center.
"The wind symphony is the top concert band here at the University," said Director of Bands and Assistant Dean of the College of Creative Arts John Hendricks. "We offer three different concert groups, and the wind symphony has the premier performers in it. The school of music offers a lot of different ensembles, from the symphony orchestra to the choir to the wind symphony, so we have a lot of different types of groups, but the wind symphony is our top concert band group."
The concert will include a wide variety of upbeat musical compositions for a total of eight compositions.
The performance will feature "Vandalia" by West Virginia University alumni Matt Jackfert.
In his time at WVU, Jackfert played the euphonium in the wind symphony. He is currently working as a composer and radio host with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
Students will have the opportunity to hear Jackfert speak in a music composition class as part of the College of Creative Arts Alumni-in-Residence series, where he will give students more insight behind his original compositions.
"The piece, he says, is to represent his feelings of the state of West Virginia," said Hendricks. "It has a lot of different folk songs feel to it plus a very pretty section to represent the beauty of the state."
"Lift-Off" by Roger Zare is a tribute to the return of NASA’s space shuttle flight program after the devastating Columbia shuttle disaster.
"Avelynn’s Lullaby" by Joel Puckett represents the composer’s daughter. The composition is about his lively child’s battle of her regular bedtime routine.
"Sacred Harp" by Jay Bocook is based on hymn melodies from the early American Sacred Harp singing traditions.
"Barnum and Bailey’s Favorites" by Karl King is a circus-style march. It was written in 1913 for the traveling circus bands.
Other songs include "Toccata" by Gaspar Cassado, "Festival" by Clifton Williams and "Scherzo alla Marcia" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The ensemble is made up of 47 wind and percussion members. Students are chosen through a competitive audition process and are expected to play at near-professional levels.
The WVU Wind Symphony performs at least four concerts each year, in which they embrace the best classical and contemporary wind literature. The symphony links much of its success to their exceptional guest conductors and composers.
Not only does the Wind Symphony perform on-campus and at regional concert halls, but it has also performed for multiple distinctive events and at esteemed locations. These events and venues include the 1981 World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Manchester, England,and the 1996 opening concert at the first Atlanta International Band and Orchestra Conference.
In spring 2002, the Wind Symphony visited the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for a performance celebrating the 100th anniversary of the WVU bands. Finally, in the spring of 2009, they presented at a regional conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre in the Creative Arts Center. Admission is free for students with a valid WVU ID.
For tickets and more information, contact the WVU Box Office at (304) 293-SHOW.