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Department of Music to present Wind Ensemble concert Feb. 5

Feb. 1, 2010 -- The Department of Music at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will present the ASU Wind Ensemble in concert on Friday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Riceland Hall , Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive. The concert is free of charge and open to the public.

The opening work of the concert will be “First Suite in E-flat, Op. 28, No. 1” composed in 1909 by Gustav Holst. This work has been hailed by some as the most historically significant composition ever written for wind bands, because this piece represents one of the first attempts to create artistic music designed specifically for the modern concert band.

In contrast, the next work on the program is a new work by David Sampson, “Serenade for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble.”  Sampson has rapidly gained notoriety as an outstanding composer for a variety of musical genres. This piece is a musical representation of the members of Sampson’s immediate family.  Trumpet soloist for this work is Dr. Christopher Wilson.

Dr. Christopher Wilson was recently appointed artist/assistant professor of Trumpet at Arkansas State University beginning the fall 2009 academic year. His duties include applied trumpet, trumpet methods, and performing in the Arkansas State Faculty Brass Quintet.  A native of Russellville, Dr. Wilson completed his Bachelor of Music Education and his master’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Arkansas, and he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.   His former teachers include Wiff Rudd, Steve Hendrickson, Charles Daval, and Robert Bright.

Prior to his appointment at Arkansas State University, Dr. Wilson performed with The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. While a member of the Air Force Band, he performed and taught clinics throughout the United States and Japan and was recently a tour soloist performing the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto. He has performed for numerous dignitaries and audiences around the world including Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama. In 2004, he performed at the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan. Live television broadcasts included a Veterans Day Celebration at the Strathmore Concert Hall in Bethesda, Md., aired on PBS in 2008, and Memorial Day at the National Capitol in collaboration with the National Symphony Orchestra, also aired on PBS in 2006.  Additionally, Dr. Wilson has performed with the Annapolis Symphony, Annapolis Opera, Maryland Symphony, Alexandria Symphony, Concert Artists of Baltimore, North Arkansas Symphony, and Memphis Symphony.  Dr. Wilson is also affiliated with the International Trumpet Guild and is an artist/clinician for the Yamaha Corporation of America.

Wallingford Riegger composed the next selection, “New Dance” as part of a large dance piece commissioned by Doris Humphrey for the renowned Humphrey-Weidman Dance Company.  “New Dance” is perhaps Riegger's most widely known piece and the composer arranged it, by request, for a variety of combinations including this version for concert band. The next work, “Hold this Boy and Listen,” by Carter Pann, was composed in 2008 for Pann’s third nephew. This work almost sounds like a jazz ballad for wind ensemble.

The next piece is one of world-renowned composer Frank Ticheli’s newest works, “Angels in the Architecture.” This piece is a musical drama, pitting the forces of light and darkness against one another. Twice during the piece, the dark shadows sneak in almost unnoticeably, slowly obscuring, and eventually obliterating, the light altogether. The darkness prevails for long stretches of time, but the light always returns, inextinguishable, more powerful than before.  This work also features soprano soloist and vocal performance student Renee Smith.

The concert will conclude with an obscure but vibrant John Philip Sousa march, “The Federal,” a composition which, like ASU itself, is also celebrating a centennial anniversary this academic year. This march is unusual because it was written in the keys of D-flat and G-flat major, demanding both virtuoso technical ability and subtle musical nuance. “The Federal” makes for an exciting conclusion to this concert.

The ASU Wind Ensemble will continue its concert season with an invited performance at the prestigious College Band Directors National Association conference in Las Cruces, N.M., on Saturday, April 10.

For more information about the concert or ASU music, contact the music office at (870) 972-2094. 


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