The Texas Tech University School of Music will host a performance tonight featuring the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 5) in Hemmle Recital Hall. Director of bands Sarah McKoin will conduct the ensemble.
In their final concert of the semester, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform selections in preparation for their appearance at the March 2018 Southwest Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association.
In a nod to the worldwide observances of cherished American composer and educator Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, the band will roar out of the gates with the fleet-footed overture to Bernstein’s operetta “Candide.” The expertly crafted overture is the only piece of the operetta to have been orchestrated entirely by Bernstein himself, and it contains melodic fragments of the songs “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Oh, Happy We,” and “Glitter and Be Gay.”
The cerebral and sprawling flights of fancy taken up by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Colgrass will take shape in his climactically metropolitan “Urban Requiem” for wind band and saxophone quartet, featuring the award-winning Mirasol Quartet. Having won many recent chamber music competitions, the quartet's virtuoso members are both current and former students from the TTU saxophone studio of professor David Dees. For their conference appearance in 2018, the quartet will consist of James Barger (alumnus), Andrew Reinhart (current), Ben Still (current), and Ben Donnell (alumnus), but for this concert professor Dees will stand in for Still.
The gravity of the program is maintained in the first two movements, titled “Fear” and “Slaughter,” of young Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s anti-war “Ellef Symphony.” Based on Jewish poetry from throughout the past millennium, it powerfully renders the feelings associated with wartime, and expresses a final hope that the current millennium will invite a new direction to humanity. Originally written for orchestra, the two movements are being presented here in their dedicated arrangements for wind band by TTU alumnus and current Lubbock Christian University band director Ryan Smith.
The concert ends with a blast of dance-hall spirit as the band takes up the energetic sounds of Mexican folk songs in a band version of Aaron Copland’s populist tour de force titled “El Salón México.”
This evening's concert is free and open to the public.