Shepherd University Wind Ensemble

The highly acclaimed Shepherd University Wind Ensemble will perform a concert featuring international wind band music on Friday, February 17 at 8:00 p.m. at the Frank Arts Center Theater. 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 conductor Dr. Scott Hippensteel and the ensemble learning about and hearing excerpts from the music to follow.

Selections include; "Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral" from Lohengrin by German composer Richard Wagner. The medieval pageantry and solemn reverence surrounding the betrothal of Elsa to the heroic Knight of the Holy Grail is captured in this rousing transcription. French composer Darius Milhaud dedicated his Suite Francaise to American band students shortly after World War II. Each of the five movements is named for a province in France where Allied forces fought to liberate the French and contains folk songs from each of these provinces. Johan de Meij, a native of Holland, composed his First Symphony in 1988 using characters and events from the famous trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The first movement, "Gandalf," was inspired by the mysterious, yet wise and noble, grey wizard. Suspiros de Espana is a concert march penned by Spaniard Antonio Alvarez in 1900. Jerry Bilik's American Civil War Fantasy is a medley of several tunes popular in mid-nineteenth century from both the North and the South. The final work was written just four years ago by David Maslanka; a New Hampshire native who taught composition in New York and now resides in Montana. Give Us This Day is a tour de force work in two movements inspired by the search for inner awareness and designed to empower the listener to "build a future in the face of a most dangerous and difficult time."

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. In May 2009, the SU Wind Ensemble performed on a 10-day concert tour of Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague, and last year in May, the ensemble toured Spain.

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.