Wind Ensemble Readies for Show

April 04, 2012

The Thursday, April 12, concert by Lander University's Wind Ensemble, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium, will feature English folk songs.

The group will first perform "Fantasy on English Hunting Songs," by American composer Clare Grundman, then Australian-born composer Percy Grainger's masterpiece, "Lincolnshire Posy," an ambitious work based on folk songs collected in Lincolnshire, England.

Assistant professor of music Dr. Reed Gallo, who leads the ensemble, said that two of the work's six movements, "Rufford Park Poachers" and "Lord Melbourne," "are wicked hard, but we're doing them anyway," because they "are among the most beautiful melodies and harmonies in band literature."

Another highlight will be solo performances by recent graduate Marshall Gagne and senior Matt Miller, of Greenwood, with Gagne, backed by Lander's Faculty Brass Quintet, playing American composer Harry de Costa's "Tuba Tiger Rag," and Miller offering an interpretation of Austrian composer Wolfgang Mozart's "Clarinet Concerto."

Gallo said that Gagne "has really stepped up his playing the last year or two." He said that Miller, likewise, "has matured into a fine young musician."

Gallo is an admirer of American composer Alfred Reed, and one of Reed's best-known pieces, "The Hounds of Spring," is in the program as well.

The most unusual selection in the program is surely "Zippo," directed by adjunct instructor of percussion Marc Widenhofer. Gallo described it as a "contemporary work exploring alternate uses of a traditional Zippo lighter." He said the lights will be dimmed in the auditorium, and that four Zippo lighters "will be used to create percussive effects."

Although the concert will emphasize English music, it will begin and end on a decidedly American note, opening with American composer John Williams' "Liberty Fanfare," written to celebrate the centennial of the Statue of Liberty in 1986, and concluding with American composer Morton Gould's "American Salute."

Gallo encouraged the public to attend the free concert, saying, "it's going to be a very good performance."