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March 25 concert is a preview of Herberger College band ensembles’ national concert

March 17, 2003

WHAT: Chamber Winds and Wind Symphony ensembles in the Herberger College School of Music will present a March 25 concert in Gammage Auditorium that is a preview of the national concert that they will present at the 2003 National Convention of College Band Directors National Association on March 27 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

WHEN: March 25, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Gammage Auditorium, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, on the ASU campus in Tempe

HOW MUCH: Free, no tickets required. Doors open at 7 p.m.

CALL: For additional information, call 480-965-8863

First came the coveted invitation to present a full evening concert at the 2003 National Convention of College Band Director’s National Association (CBDNA). Next came the program to be performed by the Herberger College School of Music’s Chamber Winds and Wind Symphony ensembles, along with a contingent of School of Music performance faculty.

ASU director of bands Gary W. Hill would make the program selection. Knowing that the audience would be a knowledgeable and critical one made up of college band directors and their top students from throughout the country was the impetus for Hill to construct as innovative and diverse wind band program as possible.

Valley audiences can preview Hill’s choices of wind band repertory and the talents of the student and faculty musicians without leaving home. The CBDNA concert will be previewed on (Tuesday) March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Gammage Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

“The concert is comprised of music chosen for its breadth of aesthetic, depth of artistic potential, and (like a good seven-course meal) for the way that each piece compliments the others – will be presented as seamlessly as possible,” explains Hill. “We will begin and end by paying homage to two musical innovators, J.S. Bach and Leopold Stokowski – Bach, through Stokowski’s pen and then both in Michael Daugherty’s Bells for Stokowski.

“Our two other ‘large’ courses include the premiere of Robert Xavier Rodríguez’s Concertino for Woodwind Quintet, Brass Quintet, and Wind Ensemble, and Gunther Schuller’s landmark Symphony for Large Wind Orchestra, ‘In Praise of Winds.’ Interspersed between the bigger sounds are three musical sorbets, short sets of pieces for various chamber ensembles reflecting works of visual art,’ says Hill.

Composer Gunther Schuller will conduct In Praise of Winds at both the March 25 concert in Gammage and the March 27 CBDNA concert in Minneapolis. During March, he is a guest artist in residence at ASU, rehearsing with the concert’s student and faculty musicians and conducting master classes.

“Whatever the merits of ‘In Praise of Winds’ may eventually be judged to be, my intent was certainly to write a major, substantial, ‘serious’ work for this extraordinary medium,” says Schuller. “My fondest wish, then, is that my symphony, despite its gigantic demands, will show others what a remarkable vehicle of musical/artistic expression the modern band is and can be.”

Schuller has developed a musical career that ranges from composing and conducting to his extensive work as an educator, jazz historian, administrator, music publisher, record producer and author. He has received the Pulitzer Prize (1994), two Guggenheim fellowships, the Darius Milhaud Award, the Rodgers and Hammerstein Award and numerous honorary degrees. In 1994, Musical America named Mr. Schuller the Composer of the Year. In February 1998, he was selected as one of the original 26 members of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in Cincinnati. As a conductor, Schuller travels throughout the world, leading major ensembles in widely varied repertory. As an educator, he taught at the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. During his tenure there as president, he helped reintroduce a great deal of 19th-century and early 20th-century American music, including the music of Charles Ives, John Knowles Paine, Louis Gottschalk and Scott Joplin. Schuller has written dozens of essays and four books, all for Oxford University Press, including the renowned jazz history studies, Early Jazz and The Swing EraThe Development of Jazz 1930-1945. Released recently is his volume on the art of conducting, entitled The Compleat Conductor and a companion CD of Beethoven and Brahms symphonies which he conducts.

“An important aspect of the performance studies of our 775 music majors is the collaboration between faculty and student performers,” Wayne Bailey, director of the School of Music. “Our artist performance faculty members regularly perform alongside their students in addition to traditional coaching sessions. The faculty members who are performing on this concert with their students, not doing so only as soloists but also as colleagues in an ensemble setting.” The faculty performing include Elizabeth Buck, visiting assistant professor of flute; John Ericson, assistant professor of horn; Emery Haverson, faculty associate in trumpet; Matthew Lennex, teaching assistant for jazz studies; Jeffrey Lyman, associate professor of bassoon; John Marchiando, graduate assistant in trumpet; J. Samuel Pilafian, professor of tuba/euphonium; Martin Schuring, associate professor of oboe; J.B. Smith, associate professor of music and coordinator of percussion studies; Robert Spring, professor of clarinet; and Joseph Wytko, professor of saxophone.

Media Contact:
Mary Brennan