Sousa and Zeppelin music, faculty solo, new instruments highlight band concert

The University of Wisconsin Green Bay Music program will present a concert by the student Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, conducted by Prof. Kevin Collins, director of bands.

The evening will begin with the UW-Green Bay Symphonic Band performing “Encomium” by George Sweet, a piece known for its fresh harmonic palette and rhythmic energy. They will follow with “A Gaelic Ballad” by Frank Erickson, which begins with a sweet flute solo which is handed off to each section, in turn, allowing the opportunity for all to contribute to the soothing ballad. The Symphonic Band will conclude its concert with “Renaissance Suite” by Tielman Susato and “Foshay Tower Washington Memorial March,” by John Philip Sousa arranged by Dan Dorff, dedicated to the famous Minneapolis landmark and first Minnesota skyscraper.

Following intermission will be the UW-Green Bay’s Wind Ensemble. They will begin their portion of the program with the piece “Arabesque,” the well-known composition by Sam Hazo incorporating Middle Eastern themes in honor of Hazo’s ancestry. The next work features Prof. Eric Hansen on clarinet in “Black Dog,” a piece by contemporary composer and clarinetist Scott McAllistar inspired by the hard rock sounds of Led Zeppelin and other groups of the late ‘60s and ‘70s. The concert finale will be a second Sousa March, “Wisconsin Forward Forever March,” which Sousa dedicated to the students, faculty and alumni of the University.

Collins notes that Friday’s concert marks the first use of many new professional-quality wind instruments purchased through a generous grant from the 1923 Fund. Several of these will be featured in the concert, including a new Haynes flute, P. Mauirat saxophones, an Oleg bass saxophone, Getzen cornets, Bach trombones and Meinl Weston tubas.

“It has transformed our sound,” said Collins. “There is nothing like the timbre of true cornets in a concert band context, and the low brass and new saxophones give us a much fuller and resonant low end. It’s like having a subwoofer for the first time. We’ll be featuring them on the final march.”

“The students are excited to play on such fine instruments. Many of them are first-generation college students… they are working their way through school and don’t always have a great deal of flexibility in their budgets… so we’re thrilled to provide instruments to students who might not otherwise be able to afford them.”

Tickets to Friday’s concert, general admission are $10 dollars for adults, $5 dollars for seniors. (K-12 and college student tickets are free at the box office.) Tickets may be purchased in advance through the University Ticketing and Information Center (920.465.2400) or online, or purchased at the Weidner Center Box Office before the performance.

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