The West Virginia University Wind Symphony, the university premier concert band, will present a concert Friday, Feb. 14, featuring special guest conductors from the 35th Annual Invitational High School Honor Bands event being held at the Creative Arts Center.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre of the Creative Arts Center and will be conducted by John Hendricks III, and Dearl J. Drury.

Hendricks is the conductor of the Wind Symphony and also serves as director of bands at WVU and assistant dean of the College of Creative Arts.

Drury is assistant director bands at WVU, and director of the WVU Marching Band, the Basketball Pep Band, the Symphonic Band and the Concert Band.

In addition, special guest conductors include: William Wakefield, director of bands at the University of Oklahoma; Nicole Gross, a WVU graduate who is director of athletic bands at Indiana State University; and Sherry Poole, director of bands at Ripley High School in Ripley, W.Va.

The guest conductors of this concert are also guest conductors for the 35th Annual Invitational High School Honor Bands event, which brings to campus more than 350 talented high school students from West Virginia and surrounding regions for a three-day event of rehearsals, master classes, and concerts.

The 50-member WVU Wind Symphony is a select group of the finest wind and percussion performers within the University. Membership is earned through audition. The Wind Symphony performs at a near-professional level presenting at least four concerts each year comprised of the finest classical and contemporary wind literature.

The program will feature:

“Light Cavalry Overture” by Franz von Supp�. This overture from Supp�’s operetta “Light Cavalry” premiered in Vienna in 1866. Although the operetta is rarely performed or recorded, the overture is one of Supp�’s most popular compositions. The main theme has been quoted numerous times by musicians, cartoons, and other media.

“Irish Tune from County Derry” and “Shepherd’s Hey” by Percy Grainger. These two folk-song settings have become some of the most often performed and respected selections in the wind band repertoire. “Irish Tune” (more commonly known by the title “Danny Boy”) is a masterful example of the pure beauty of sound and melody, while “Shepherd’s Hey” is a sprightly dance.

“The Promise of Living” from “The Tender Land” by Aaron Copland. “The Tender Land” is a 1954 opera with music by Aaron Copland. In 1958, Copland extracted a three-movement suite using music from portions of the opera. The final and most popular movement, “The Promise of Living,” is based largely on the folk song “Zion’s Walls.”

“Pacific Fanfare” by Frank Ticheli was composed in 1994 as a gift to the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. The piece is a tribute to the great Venetian composer, Giovanni Gabrieli, who brilliantly utilized the space of St. Mark’s Cathedral in his polychoral works and antiphonal fanfares. “Pacific Fanfare” exploits several spatial characteristics by separating the brass and percussion sections as two antiphonal choirs, with the woodwinds and timpani situated in the middle.

“The Gallant Seventh March” by John Philip Sousa was Sousa’s 101st march composed in 1922 for a gala concert at the old New York Hippodrome. This march is Sousa’s longest with several compositional departures from standard marches. This is the “March King” at his regimental best.

“October” by Eric Whitacre became one of the most performed pieces for wind band when it was first premiered in 2000. Inspired by the month of October’s crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light, this piece is designed to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.

“Give Us This Day” by David Maslanka is subtitled “Short Symphony for Wind Ensemble.” Even though only two movements in length, this piece has a full-blown symphonic character ranging from a deeply searching first movement to a highly energized second.

For tickets and information, contact the WVU Box Office at (304) 293-SHOW.



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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