The UW–Platteville Symphony Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform together at the second annual Band Extravaganza concert in the Center for the Arts Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
The performance will include 89 UW–Platteville students and 22 members from Platteville and other area communities.
General admission is $5. The performance is open to the public.
Dr. Barry Ellis, director of bands and professor of music at UW–Platteville, will conduct the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Matthew Gregg, associate director of bands and director of the Marching Pioneers at UW–Platteville, will conduct the Symphony Band. Ellis and Gregg will each also conduct a piece with the other’s band.
“Traditionally, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Symphony Band perform separately,” said Ellis. “I am excited that we will once again be sharing the stage. This is the second time we have combined the bands and it is a fantastic opportunity to bring these accomplished musicians together to perform. The music will be quite eclectic, at times exciting and bold and at other times lyrical and dissonant.”
A highlight of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble performance will include Symphony No.1 from “Lord of the Rings,” written by Johan de Meij, a Dutch composer. The piece premiered in 1988, before the “Lord of the Rings” movie was made.
“This marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of this incredible work, which is a major piece of music for wind bands,” said Ellis. “I have never conducted all five movements of this work and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to do so. For this concert, we’ll perform four of the five movements. The entire symphony is programmed for our November concert. This wonderful piece vividly conveys J.R.R Tolkien’s trilogy. It is a work of great depth and beauty that appeals to both artists and audiences.”
Additional symphonic wind ensemble repertoire will include Karel Husa’s “Smetana Fanfare” and Aaron Copland’s “Variations on a Shaker Melody.” Most will recognize this as the Shaker song “Simple Gifts” from Copland’s ballet “Appalachian Spring.”
A highlight of the Symphony Band performance will include portions of “Courtly Airs and Dances” by Ron Nelson and “Armenian Dances” by Alfred Reed, among other works.
“These pieces are part of a theme for our December concert of dance and folk music from different parts of the world and different eras of human history,” said Gregg. “There is so much great literature to choose from within this theme.”
The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is the premier wind group of the UW–Platteville music department. Membership is by audition and consists of the finest wind and percussion players at the university. The repertoire is carefully chosen to provide a variety of musical experiences from the traditional to the historical to contemporary art literature.
The Symphony Band is a group of talented musicians who provide performances of artistic merit for the benefit of the university and southwestern Wisconsin communities. The band is open to all UW–Platteville students who play a wind or percussion instrument and have an interest in music.
There are 43 UW–Platteville students and 22 community members in the Symphony Band and 46 UW–Platteville students in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Students are from a wide variety of disciplines, including music, engineering, criminal justice, agriculture and more.
The Band Extravaganza concert will give community members a preview of some of the repertoire of the upcoming Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert on Nov. 18 and the Symphony Band concert on Dec. 4.