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Wind Ensemble Readying for February 23 Show

February 16, 2012

Wind Ensemble

Lander University associate professor of education Lewis Walker, left, and other members of the trumpet section rehearse for the Lander Wind Ensemble's Feb. 23 show.

February is Black History Month, and Lander University's Wind Ensemble will mark the occasion by including several tunes by African-American composers in its Thursday, Feb. 23 show.

African-American rhythms will be immediately apparent in Valerie Coleman's "Umoja -- Anthem of Unity," chosen as one of Chamber Music America's "100 Great American Works." They can also be heard in "From the Delta," by the dean of African-American composers, William Grant Still. Still's best-known work, "Scherzo, from Afro-American Symphony," is also included in the program.

The concert, which is free, will feature works by other notable composers, too, beginning with Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost's "Flashing Winds," described by assistant professor of music Dr. Reed Gallo, who leads the ensemble, as "a great opener."

Also on the playlist are "Aria," by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, whom Gallo called a "giant" of Latin-American music, and American composer Norman Dello Joio's "Scenes from The Louvre," which Gallo described as "contemporary music with a Renaissance feel."

Gallo said that the ensemble's last piece, "The Florentiner March," by Czech composer Julius Fucik, is another selection the audience is sure to find "exciting."

Gallo expects an evening of "good quality work highlighting African-American composers and compositions." He invited area music enthusiasts to the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium for the 8 p.m. show.