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Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band will perform ‘Stream of Life’ concert

ISSUED: 3 February 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Wind Ensemble and the Shepherd University Symphonic Band, under the direction of Dr. Scott Hippensteel, assistant music professor and director of bands, will present “Stream of Life” featuring music of introspection, horror, humor, hope, and celebration of life on Friday, February 20 at 8 p.m. in the Frank Center Theater. The audience is also invited to a pre-concert lecture at 7:15 p.m. to hear Hippensteel and the musicians discuss the works and play excerpts from the program.

The Symphonic Band will open with a classic march by Robert Hall titled “The New Colonial,” followed by Charles Carter’s “Overture for Winds.” Daniel Bukvich’s “Symphony No. 1: In Memoriam Dresden, 1945″ depicts the Allied bombing of Dresden during World War II, followed by a song of hope—”Be Thou My Vision,” as arranged by Jack Stamp. The Symphonic Band ends with ethnic dances by Jan Van der Roost in a three-movement work called “Balkanya.”

The Wind Ensemble begins with “ZING!,” an overture by Scott McAllister, followed by Johan Sebastian Bach’s chorale “My Jesus! Oh What Anguish.” The hymn tune “All Creatures of Our God and King” is the foundation of a seven-movement composition by David Maslanka titled “Unending Stream of Life” which will feature guest artist Richard Polonchak on two solos. The first movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Bassoon” was arranged by Polonchak for bassoon and clarinet choir. “Der Alte Brummbär” (“The Old Sore-Head”) by Julius Fučik is a humorous polka for bassoon and band. “Blue Shades” by Frank Ticheli is a tribute to the influence of jazz. The concert will close with a standard march from John Philip Sousa, “The Belle of Chicago.”

Richard Polonchak, adjunct music professor, was the former principal bassoonist of both “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and the White House Orchestra in Washington, D.C. He has also recorded for National Public Radio broadcasts with the Marine Band’s Trio d’Anche. In addition to Shepherd, he has taught at eight universities and is currently on the faculty of the American Band College. A consultant and clinician to Custom Music Company for more than three decades, Polonchak has worked extensively in bassoon factories in Germany helping instrument makers redesign bassoons and contrabassoons exclusively for the American bassoonist.  For five years, he served as principal bassoonist of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra and he currently performs with Shepherd Three, the Faculty Wind Trio of Shepherd University and, since 1996, in the Two Rivers Trio with his identical-twin sons who both play violin.

The Shepherd University Wind Ensemble, comprised of music majors and a few select non-majors, has been invited to perform around the world, including a tour of Ireland in 2001; Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague in 2009; Spain in 2011; and France and Monaco in 2013. In 2004, the ensemble’s  recording of “Barnes Symphony No. 3” led to an invitation to be a part of the 2005 season in Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Admission and seating for “Stream of Life” is on a first come, first served 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 faculty and staff, Shepherd alumni, senior citizens and students 18 and under; and free to Shepherd students with a valid Rambler ID and Friends of Music MAC cardholders. For more information call 304-876-5555 or visit

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