JONESBORO – The Wind Ensemble at Arkansas State University will begin its 2018-2019 concert season Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Fowler Center’s Riceland Hall. Admission is $5, but A-State students are admitted free with their ID.
The concert theme is “A Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration.” Dr. Timothy Oliver, director of bands at A-State and conductor of the Wind Ensemble, said, “Leonard Bernstein is one of the most influential individuals in the history of American music. His music, which crosses many genres, is both transcendent and timeless.”
Bernstein died October 14, 1990, but numerous musical organizations are choosing to celebrate his 100th birthday, which would have been Aug. 25, throughout this year. Thus, all of the works on the Wind Ensemble program were written by Bernstein.
The concert will begin with “Divertimento,” a multi-movement work commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for their centennial celebration. This is one of Bernstein’s later works that can be considered a tribute to the broad diversity of both his compositions and his favorite works by other composers.
The A-State Faculty Brass Quintet will be featured on “Suite from Mass.” Composed in 1971, “Mass” was one of Bernstein’s most controversial works. Commissioned for the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the piece has been beautifully arranged for wind band with brass quintet soloists. Members of the quintet who will be performing are Dr. Chris Wilson, trumpet; Dr. Brittany Hendricks, trumpet; Dr. Juli Buxbaum, horn; Dr. Bruce Faske, trombone; and Dr. Ed Owen, tuba.
The concert will close with “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.” The nine dances that Bernstein selected for this dance suite are taken from what is arguably his most famous work. This recent transcription is an exact replica of the original orchestra version, but scored for wind band. Dances such as “Mambo,” “Cool,” “Rumble” and “Somewhere” are among the many familiar segments of this work.
For more details about this concert or any other A-State music presentation, one may contact the Music Department at (870) 972-2094.
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