The Lander University Wind Ensemble is gearing up for a new season of performances this fall and will open with promise as a new class of freshman musicians takes the stage.
To kick off the semester, the ensemble will hold its first concert of the year Thursday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m. in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium.
The ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Reed Gallo, Lander assistant professor of music, who has confidence in this year's musicians. "I see strong student leadership this year," said Gallo, referring to his new batch of accomplished players.
One of the new members, and also one of the most decorated, is freshman trumpet player Tyler Will. A Greenwood native, Will has been playing trumpet for seven years, and in that time he has risen to be one of the top student players in South Carolina. Though he was tempted to take his musical skill to Columbia for a spot in the USC Wind Ensemble, Will felt Greenwood was a better fit. "I just fell in love with Lander," says Will.
Will has not always wanted to play the trumpet. He said, "I wanted to play drums but my band teacher in sixth grade told me to try trumpet. I wasn't great at first, and I got a lot of negative feedback, but that just made me want to get better. I practiced and practiced, night and day. I nearly drove my parents crazy."
All that practice has paid off. Will is the co-principal trumpet player for the Lander Wind Ensemble, and he is only in his first year at the university. He remains modest about his talent. "I still get nervous before every performance," Will said. He has chosen music education as his major, with plans to have a concertband of his own one day.
Will is just one of the many talented musicians who will be heard throughout the Lander University Wind Ensemble performance on Oct. 8. The concert will feature "Overture for Band, opus 24," by Felix Mendelssohn, "October," by Eric Whitacre, "Victory at Sea," by Richard Rodgers, "Third Suite," by Robert Jager, and "Symphonic Dance No. 3, Fiesta" by Clifton Williams. Admission is free and open to the public.
For information, call the Fine Arts box office at 864-388-8800 or visit www.lander.edu/calender.