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ASU Wind Ensemble begins 2008-09 concert season

Sept. 19, 2008 -- The Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble will give its first concert of the 2008-09 season on Tuesday, September 30, 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 conducted by Dr. Timothy Oliver, director of bands and coordinator of wind and percussion studies within the department of music.

The wind ensemble is different from other, more traditional, groups such as concert or marching bands, because in a wind ensemble usually one or sometimes 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.

Dr. Oliver will lead the musicians of the ASU Wind Ensemble in “How ‘Suite’ It Is.”  Each of the four works selected for this program are suites consisting of multiple movements, representing a wide variety of styles and countries, including the United States, England, and France. Each of these works is also considered a standard in the wind ensemble repertoire.

The concert will begin with “Suite of Old American Dances,” composed in 1949 by Robert Russell Bennett. Bennett, a native of Kansas City, was credited with orchestrating more than 200 Broadway shows and collaborated with many famous musicians of his era, including Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Richard Rodgers.  Bennett earned many accolades, including an Academy Award and an Emmy. This suite is divided into five dances and includes the cakewalk, waltz, and rag. Gordon Jacob composed the second piece on the program, “An Original Suite.” Jacob wrote this work in 1928, and it was his first piece for the traditional concert band. It is assumed that the word "original" in the title was used to distinguish it from orchestral transcriptions or music that utilized folk songs which constituted most of the band repertoire of that period. One of the features of the piece is the lyrical and beautifully written second movement featuring an extended alto saxophone solo.

The second half of the concert will begin with a light-hearted work by Robert Jager called “Third Suite.” This three-movement work is challenging, as the musical meter of each movement changes nearly every measure.  The movements of this piece have the same titles as previous works on the program, but they sound completely different.  A visual reference used to describe this piece is looking at an egg rolling end over end.  The final work on the program is “Suite Francaise,” written by French composer Darius Milhaud at the conclusion of World War II. Milhaud employed folk tunes from the French provinces, in hopes of sharing some of the rich culture with the Americans who so valiantly defended his native land from the Nazis. The five parts of this suite are named after the French provinces of Normandy, Brittany, Ile-de-France, Alsace-Lorraine, and Provence. These are the areas in which the American and Allied Forces fought together with the French underground for the liberation of France. This work demands both virtuoso technical ability and subtle musical nuance and provides an exciting conclusion for this concert.

The ASU Wind Ensemble will continue its 2008-09 concert season on Thursday, November 13, when they present a concert program, “Heavy Metal,” featuring ASU tuba professor Dr. Ed Owen at Fowler Center, 7:30 p.m.

Wind Ensemble personnel (listed alphabetically within each section) are: Piccolo, Hannah Sneed, Republic, Mo. Flutes: Angela Hamill, West Memphis; Lauren Henderson, Piggott; Caitlin Proctor, Conway; Caitlin Sammons, Bald Knob. Oboes: Sarah Bedingfield, Nashville, Tenn.; Kellie Laughlin, Piggott; Pamela Masterson, Homestead, Fla. Bassoons: Bryan Eckert, Jonesboro; Josh McFalls, Searcy; Amy Penny, Jonesboro. Clarinets: Shayeeda Beard, Cherokee Village; Amy Dunman, Cash; Amelia Middleton, Russellville; Heather Reed, Paragould; Christopher Williams, Jonesboro; Kimberly Winchester, Jonesboro. Bass clarinet: Michelle Davis, Jonesboro. Contrabass clarinet: Scott Dunkin, West Memphis. Alto saxophones: Allen Adcock, Bono; Ben Hobson, Grapevine, Texas; Claire Richardson, Jonesboro. Tenor saxophone: Daniel Medina, Marion. Trumpets: Meagan Conley, Osceola; Kayla Hunter, Bono; Kelsey Lambert, Paragould; Ben Light, West Ridge; Lana Spain, Wynne; Antonio Starks, Jonesboro; Jón Stevenson, North Little Rock; Kyle Stewart, Clarksdale. Horns: Matthew Allen, Magnolia; Timothy Hendrix, Jonesboro; Jeremy Lloyd, Gosnell; Charnit Rerngron-asa, Thailand; Laura Thompson, Jonesboro. Trombones: Brandon Avant, West Memphis; Kasey Chitmon, Paragould; Jonathon McAlister, Marion; Treavor Mitchell, Jonesboro; Adam Peoples-Waddell, Jonesboro. Euphoniums: Jacob Davis, Piggott; Jennifer Hall, Tyronza; Zack Rikard, Hardy; Matthew Watson, Walnut Ridge. Tubas: Jay Shepherd, Paragould; Lonnie Simmons, Jonesboro; Daniel Van Aalsburg, Hardy. Percussion: Trent Duff, Pocahontas; Aaron Fisher, Southaven, Miss.; Seth Gaskill, Paragould; Janet Rooney, Lake City; Cheyenne Sheppard, Jonesboro; Jarrett Tedder, Paragould.

For more information, contact the music department at (870) 972-2094.




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