Last night at the Creative Arts Center, the Wind Symphony presented its last performance of the year. The show featured more than 50 students, and entertained a packed audience. The music ranged from being very fast and upbeat to slow and light. During the entire performance, the musicians showed precision and control as every note seemed to be filled with purpose.
Dearl Drury, associate conductor, Christopher Nichter, assistant conductor and Stephen Lane, graduate conductor, all conducted songs before the intermission.
After intermission, John Hendricks III conducted his last show as he concludes his career as Director of Bands at West Virginia University. He has been a band director for a total of 31 years, spending 23 of those years at WVU, his alma mater.
The concert featured six pieces, which included “Jubilee,” “Farandole,” “Festal Scenes,” “Solid Men to the Front,” “Landing Among the Stars,” and “Symphony No. 4.”
“The performance was great. It was my first time actually being able to attend one of the instrumental concerts here and it was quite impressive,” said Michaela Woodbrey, a freshman vocal performance student. “As a voice major, I honestly think that it is important to support the other music majors outside of my primary field of study. I believe it is beneficial for expanding your musical knowledge. I don’t just think this for music majors, but for other students as well as community members. It builds a new sense of appreciation for the talent at our own school.”
The first song, “Jubilee” was a light and fun piece from George Chadwick. The piece is the first movement in the suite “Symphonic Sketches.” This song was conducted by Nichter.
Next was “Farandole,” the fourth and final movement from the second suite in the play “L’Arlesienne,” and was conducted by Lane. The play was unsuccessful, however, Bizet rescored the music. This song presents the stately march theme and the lively dance from themes of Southern France.
Following “Farandole” was a Japanese piece titled “Festal Scenes.” This is made up of four Japanese folk songs that were originally commissioned by the Ominato Band of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Since its premiere, it has also been used by the United States Air Force Band. This song was conducted by Drury.
Also conducted by Drury, “Solid Men to the Front,” was one of the ten marches that John Philip Sousa composed during his time with the Navy.
After the intermission, Hendricks began conducting with a song dedicated to himself and the WVU Wind Symphony. This song, “Landing Among the Stars” was composed for the second half of the concert by WVU graduate Evan Boegehold. Boegehold has a double bachelor’s degree in music composition and trumpet performance. He has since received a double master’s degree in composition and orchestral conducting from Central Michigan University.
Finally, The last piece was “Symphony No. 4” composed by David Maslanka.
“It is possible to describe the technical aspects of a work its construction principles, its orchestration but nearly impossible to write of its soul nature except through hints and suggestions,” Maslanka wrote in the program note.