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ASU's Wind Ensemble begins
its 2007-2008 Concert Season

Oct. 25, 2007 -
- The Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble will give its first concert of the 2007-2008 season on Tuesday, Nov. 6, in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., and admission is free. The Wind Ensemble is a group of woodwind, brasswind, and percussion musicians who are among the finest instrumentalists at ASU. The Wind Ensemble is different from other more traditional groups, such as concert or marching bands, because in a wind ensemble, one or two musicians play each individual part written by the composer. This defining characteristic makes the wind ensemble very flexible and ideal for exploring a wide variety of instrumental combinations and musical styles.

This concert also marks the ASU debut of Dr. Timothy Oliver, conductor of the ASU Wind Ensemble. Oliver is also director of bands, and coordinator of Wind and Percussion Studies within the Department of Music. Dr. Oliver will lead the musicians of the ASU Wind Ensemble in a concert titled, “Homage to the Masters.” The concert is so titled because each of the works to be performed is considered a significant and standard musical composition among the wind and percussion repertoire.

The concert will begin with “Esprit de Corps,” composed by Robert Jager. This piece is like a march, but it will not be confused with a typical John Philip Sousa march. Jager wrote this work for the United States Marine Band, and he intended that the work represent the “fervor and virtuosity” of that ensemble. Richard Wagner composed the second piece, a powerful yet lyrical work titled, “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.” This transcription is from Wagner’s famous opera “Lohengrin,” which is the opera that introduced the world to the ubiquitous “Bridal March” commonly heard at contemporary weddings. The first half of the concert will conclude with Norman Dello Joio’s work “Variants on a Medieval Tune.”  This set of five variations is based on the melody “In dulci jubilo” which is often associated with the Christmas carol “Good Christian Men, Rejoice.”  Each of the variations is very different and shows Dello Joio’s craftsmanship and ingenuity in transforming the original theme.

The second half of the concert will begin with what is considered to be the most significant wind work written by Missouri-born composer H. Owen Reed. “La Fiesta Mexicana,” subtitled “A Mexican Folk Song Symphony,” represents the events and experiences of a Mexican fiesta.  During a five-month trip to Mexico, Reed witnessed several fiestas and used his observations as the basis for this work. The three movements of this symphony encompass a wide range of styles, including Aztec dance, music appropriate for a mass, and of course, the mariachi. It is a landmark work full of excitement, drama, and musical delight. The final work on the program is “Festive Overture,” written by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich never left his homeland, Russia, despite the turmoil caused by the establishment of the Soviet Union. His compositions cover almost all musical categories, from classical to jazz, film, ballets, and music for the theater. In comparison with his huge programmatic symphonies, “Festive Overture” is an exciting but relatively light-hearted work, filled with catchy melodies and straightforward harmony.  The work demands both virtuoso technical ability and subtle musical nuance, and concludes with a vigorous fast section, bringing the concert to an exuberant end.

The ASU Wind Ensemble will continue its 2007-2008 concert season with an appearance at the Holiday Spectacular Concert on Sunday, Dec. 2. Other upcoming performances include a special exhibition concert at the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association (ASBOA) Senior High All-Region VIII Honor Band Clinic in January, and in February the group will present a concert program titled “Reflection and Remembrance” at Fowler Center.


Wind Ensemble Personnel (Listed alphabetically within each section)

Melinda Watts, Nixa, Mo.

Brandi McAlister, Marion;
Caitlin Sammons, Bald Knob;
Ashley Slayton, Paragould;
Hannah Sneed, Republic, Mo.;
A.J. Wetton, Poplar Bluff, Mo.;

Kathryn Fischer, Jacksonville;
Valarie Hoke, Jonesboro;
Kellie Laughlin, Piggott;
Pamela Masterson, Homestead, Fla.;

Bryan Eckert, Jonesboro;
Courtney LaFarlette, Jonesboro;
Amy Penny, Jonesboro;

Eb Clarinet
Jammar Haggans, Wynne;

Shayeeda Beard, Cherokee Village;
Amelia Middleton, Russellville;
Jamie Scercy, Harrisburg;
Amy Van Slyke, Hardy;
Christopher Williams, Jonesboro;
Kimberly Winchester, Jonesboro;

Bass Clarinet
Sheena Gibson, Piggott;

Contrabass Clarinet
Scott Dunkin, West Memphis;

Alto Saxophone
Allen Adcock, Bono;
Ben Hobson, Grapevine, Texas;
Claire Richardson, Jonesboro;

Tenor Saxophone
Daniel Rickman, Bono;

Baritone Saxophone
Patrick Manes, Bryant;

Meagan Conley, Osceola;
Joseph Curtis, Trumann;
Sarah DeClerk, Pocahontas;
Grant Harbison, Jonesboro;
Ben Light, West Ridge;
Jonathan Monroe, Jonesboro;
Lana Spain, Wynne;
Jón Stevenson, North Little Rock;

Matthew Allen, Magnolia;
Timothy Hendrix, Jonesboro;
Charnrit Rerngron-Asa, Thailand;
Laura Thompson, Jonesboro;
Jeremy Wortham, Paragould;

Blake Howerton, Paragould;
Jonathon McAlister, Marion;
Treavor Mitchell, Jonesboro;
Jason Payne,  Poplar Bluff, Mo.;
Corey Spencer, Wynne;

Jacob Davis, Piggott;
Zack Rikard, Hardy;
Matthew Watson, Walnut Ridge;

Ryan Riley, El Dorado;
Kristen Scott, Piggott;
Lonnie Simmons, Jonesboro;
Daniel Van Aalsburg, Hardy;

Dustin Barker, Paragould;
Trent Duff, Pocahontas;
Bryan Elder, Jonesboro;
Shady Francis, Jonesboro;
Cody Ivy, Pocahontas;
Janet Rooney, Lake City;
Cheyenne Sheppard, Jonesboro


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