Friday’s band concert: Sousa, Zeppelin, Hansen… and new instruments

We heard great things about last Saturday’s choral concert extravaganza – now it’s the instrumentalists’ turn. The student Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band under the direction of Prof. Kevin Collins will perform at 7:30 p.m. this Friday (Oct. 23) at the Weidner Center. Among the musical highlights will be “A Gaelic Ballad” and “Arabesque,” a pair of Sousa marches and “Black Dog,” a piece inspired by the music of Led Zeppelin and the hard rock sounds of the 1970s. The latter will feature Prof. Eric Hansen on clarinet. For more on a very appealing program.

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Gift by 1923 gives bands a new sound – Friday’s band concert will be the first at UWGB to feature the sounds of new instruments purchased via a generous grant from the Cofrin Family’s 1923 Fund, which has long lent its support to the Weidner Center and the performing arts on campus. Prof. Kevin Collins, director of bands, says the new professional-quality wind instruments in use Friday will include 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… 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.”

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