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Wind Symphony concert: Prism: An Evening of Chamber Wind Ensembles, October 16

Photo of Anthony Marinello conducting the ISU Wind Ensemble on September 22, 2017

Conducted by Anthony C. Marinello III, the Illinois State Wind Symphony is the University’s premier wind band and features the finest wind and percussion musicians on campus.

The Illinois State University Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and School of Music will host the second Wind Symphony concert of the 2019–2020 season at 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 16, in the Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for Illinois State faculty/staff, and $6 for students (with student ID) and seniors.

Featuring students from the premiere wind ensemble, the Prism concert will offer a wide array of immersive entertainment. Audience members will experience various wind instrument ensembles that rotate in continuous sets of music in a “no pause, no applause” format.

The concert will open with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Serenade in C minor, K. 388. The piece was composed during a time when daytime entertainment music was often called a “divertimento,” while nighttime entertainment music bore the label “serenade.” Mozart’s own notes call this work “Nacht Musique,” an unusual mixture of German and French. Regardless of label, this is hardly light entertainment music.

In form, it has been characterized as “a symphony for wind octet.” In substance, it has been called “austere,” “puzzling,” “mysterious,” “problematical,” “defiantly dark” in character and “unforgiving in its seriousness.” Mozart regarded this composition highly, for he used it in two later works. He transcribed it for string quintet in K.406, and he borrowed the principal melody of the second movement for his opera Cosi fan tutte. Whatever dark mystery Mozart may have intended this work to explore seems lifted by the triumphant ending in the key of C Major.

Ian Clarke’s Within and Joel Love’s Three Images for Saxophone Octet will complete the first part of the concert.

Following a brief intermission, the second part of the concert will open with Giovanni Gabrieli’s Sonata pian’ e forte from “Sacrae Symphoniae”—a collection of motets and canzoni for brass ensembles that established the foundation of brass music for years to come. The piece is a marvel of music that exploits various combinations of instruments and ever-changing textures in addition to the antiphonal dialogue between phrases Gabrieli intended to echo across the dazzling mosaic-covered spaces of Saint Mark’s Basilica.

Mozart’s Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” for Clarinet Choir, arranged by Cailliet; Caleb Hudson’s White Rose Elegy and Ivan Trevino’s Catching Shadows for Percussion Sextet will complete the second part of the concert.

The concert will end with the full ensemble performing Richard Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral. Taken from Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, the story takes place in the court of King Henry I, where Elsa is accused of having murdered her brother, Gottfried. The knight Lohengrin arrives on a boat drawn by a swan and offers to defend and marry Elsa on the condition that she never ask his name. The music in this selection, from the beginning of the fourth scene from Act II, is the beautiful, dramatic bridal procession followed by a chorus. A long train of ladies, magnificently attired, proceeds slowly, finally ascending the steps of the church. After the second theme is presented, Elsa appears amid the processional train, and the noblemen respectfully bare their heads as Elsa begins her magnificent journey to the cathedral for her wedding to Lohengrin.

The Wind Symphony is the University’s premier wind band and features the finest wind and percussion musicians on campus.

For a schedule of upcoming band concerts and events, visit the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts events calendar and follow the Illinois State University Bands on Facebook.

For tickets or additional information, contact the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts Box Office, located in the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts, open 11 a.m.-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.

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