Wind Ensemble

The highly acclaimed Shepherd University Wind Ensemble will perform on Friday April 17 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.

Preview the music to be played in Europe when the Wind Ensemble performs a 10-day concert tour of Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague this coming May! Program selections include W. A. Mozart's overture to Marriage of Figaro, Gustav Holst's First Suite in Eb For Military Band, the beautiful Morten Laridsen/H. Robert Reynolds O Magnum Mysterium, a new work called Band Dances by conductor D. Mark McCoy and the Divine Comedy Symphony of Robert W. Smith. The four movements are: The Inferno-which includes furious woodwind ostinatos, huge blocks of sound, tremendous percussion, and the imagery of Hell's inferno! (Not for the faint of heart); Purgatorio-with chanting, singing, moaning and other sound effects creating a contemplation of Purgatory; Ascension-the composer's musical rendition of Dante and Virgil's ascent to heaven; Paradiso-draws the symphony to a brilliant conclusion! Full of rushing woodwind arpeggios, gorgeous four-part horn writing and an ethereal piano/celeste introduction, Paradiso presents more beauty of sound and less of the violent intensity found in the previous movements of The Divine Comedy.

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 No. 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. The Wind Ensemble will be embarking on a 10-day concert tour of Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague this coming May.

The SU Wind Ensemble also was recently selected to be a part of a consortium premiering a new work "Solar Traveller" by Judith Zaimont in 2010. Other consortium members are Peabody Conservatory and Eastman School of Music. Judith Zaimont is one of America's preeminent composers and is regularly performed by wind ensembles and orchestras around the world.

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