SU Wind Ensemble in Concert

The highly acclaimed Shepherd University Wind Ensemble will perform on Friday April 16 at 8:00 p.m. at the Frank Arts Center. Free with admission is a pre-concert lecture describing the works beginning at 7:00 p.m. A great way to derive even more enjoyment from the performance, the audience is invited to spend an hour with the conductor and the ensemble learning about and hearing excerpts from the music to follow.

The Wind Ensemble will offer an exciting program of music spanning 500 years, and featuring Winds of Nagual by Michael Colgrass. Also on the program are Procession of the Nobles from Mlada by Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov, Prelude in the Dorain Mode by Percy Grainger, Second Suite in F by Gustav Holst, Viva El Rumbo by C. Zabala and John Mackey's Redline Tango.

Written in 1985, Winds of Nagual, subtitled A Musical Fable for Wind Ensemble on the Writings of Carlos Castaneda, is one of North American composer Michael Colgrass's most famous works for Wind Ensemble. Considered a beautiful yet highly challenging piece to perform, Colgrass won the Barlow and Sudler Awards for the composition. Based on the writings of Carlos Castaneda, the work consists of seven movements, the work been has likened to a painting (or a set of seven paintings) in a fine art gallery.

American-born Canadian composer Michael Colgrass began his musical career as a percussionist and jazz drummer in Chicago and then New York. As a performer, he worked with musical icons including Dizzie Gillespie, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Stravinsky, the New York Philharmonic, the American Ballet Theatre, and the original West Side Story Orchestra on Broadway. His composition teachers included Darius Milhaud, Lukas Foss, Wallingford Riegger and Ben Weber. In 1978, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for the orchestral version Deja vu and in 1982 he received an Emmy Award for the documentary "Soundings: The Music of Michael Colgrass." Colgrass continues to work as a composer, also doing workshops internationally in performance technique and psychology. He has been commissioned by groups including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, the Lincoln Centre Chamber Music Society and the Brighton Festival in England.

The Shepherd University Wind Ensemble, comprised of music majors and a few select non-majors, is the premier wind group of Shepherd University and each year the audition becomes more competitive. This ensemble has been invited to perform around the world. In 2001, the group accepted an invitation form the Lord Mayor of Dublin to tour Ireland and performed throughout the country, including stops in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Tramore, and Dublin. In 2004, their outstanding recording of Barnes Symphony #3 garnered them an invitation to be a part of the 2005 season in Carnegie Hall. The well-attended concert received a standing ovation and was well received by the New York audience. Last May the SU Wind Ensemble performed on a 10-day concert tour of Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague.

Admission and seating for the Wind Ensemble concert is on a first come-first serve basis and advance sales or reservations are not available. The box office will open one hour prior to each performance. General admission is $10, $5 for students 18 and under, and free to Shepherd students with Rambler ID and Friends of Music MAC Cardholders. For more information call 304-876-5555 or visit www.shepherd.edu/musicweb.