The Illinois State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music invite you to the first Wind Symphony concert of the 2018–2019 season at 5 p.m. Sunday, September 16, in the Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $6 for students (with student ID) and seniors.
This concert is the culminating event of the All-State Band Day for high school musicians. The concert is titled Dedications, as each piece was written as a tribute.
The concert will open with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Passacaglia and Thema Fugatum in C minor, BWV 582 which was arranged for band by Leopold Stokowski. Many scholars believe that Bach wrote this piece as a memorial to organist and composer Dieterich Buxtehude, who died in 1707. The Passacaglia has long been acclaimed as one of Bach’s supreme masterpieces for the organ, and only recently has it been believed that it dates from the early part of his life. Only a few performances of this band transcription by Stokowski have ever been performed.
Another rarely performed piece, Ebony Concerto by Igor Stravinsky, was originally composed for Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd jazz band. The vividly characterful piece, both bluesy and rambunctious, was called by composer and author Eric Walter White “the most ambitious and most successful of (Stravinsky’s) various flirtations with jazz.”
Upon observing Stravinsky simultaneously at work on the Ebony Concerto and Symphony in Three Movements, composer Alexandre Tansman wrote, “It was with surprise as well as intense admiration that I saw the greatest composer of our age, and one of the greatest of all times, put himself to school like a student to study this new problem, trying to extract all the latent possibilities from this new combination of instruments, working away at it with the same conscientious concentration that he had applied a few months previously to his great Symphony.”
Ebony Concerto will feature Illinois State University faculty member Anne Dervin on clarinet in the performance of this timeless masterpiece.
Of Our New Day Begun was written by Omar Thomas to honor the nine beautiful souls who lost their lives to a callous act of hatred and domestic terrorism on the evening of June 17, 2015, while worshiping in their beloved sanctuary, the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (affectionately referred to as “Mother Emanuel”) in Charleston, South Carolina. The piece was commissioned by a consortium of 38 wind ensembles nationwide, led by Western Kentucky University.
The concert will close with Gustav Holst’s Second Suite in F, Opus 28, No. 2 for Military Band, dedicated to British music director James Causley Windram, who along with his regimental band was killed during a German air raid in WWII. Written in 1911 and founded on old English tunes, the piece received its first performance in 1922 and is today considered one of the cornerstones of twentieth-century band literature.
The Wind Symphony is the University’s premier wind band and features the finest wind and percussion musicians on campus.
For tickets or additional information, contact the College of Fine Arts Box Office, located in the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts, open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at (309) 438-2535, or purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.com. Performance parking is available for free in the School Street Parking Deck in spots 250 and above, 400 West Beaufort Street, Normal.