News release
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Contact: Angey Saucier
Date: 3/17/04
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The Southeastern Louisiana University Wind Symphony has recently returned from performing at the College Band Directors National Association and the National Band Association conference in Atlanta and will present their next concert April 29.

      HAMMOND – The Southeastern Louisiana University Wind Symphony recently returned from Atlanta, where the university musicians performed for the joint conference of the College Band Directors National Association and the National Band Association.
      Appearing at the newly-opened Schwartz Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Emory University, the Wind Symphony one of only eight wind bands from an 11-state region invited to perform at the biennial convention.
      According to Southeastern director of bands Glen J. Hemberger, in order to be considered for a performance opportunity at one of five regional conferences, bands submit recent, live and unedited recordings to a committee comprised of conductors from throughout the country. “The tapes are reviewed by the panel, and ensembles are ranked based on the quality and level of musical performance,” Hemberger said. “Only after the top ensembles have been identified by the selection committee is the name of any group revealed.”
      Southeastern received its invitation notice from the national office of CBDNA in early July, less than seven months before the February convention.
      “The audience of all-music directors thoroughly enjoyed the Wind Symphony’s 60-minute concert, a performance that included eight selections by such composers as Percy Grainger, Peter Mennin, and Joseph Turrin,” said Hemberger. 
      Among the most popular selections was a performance of “Blue Shades” by Louisiana native Frank Ticheli, featuring a clarinet solo by music education major Val Laird of Pearl, Miss. Recent graduate and mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas of Mandeville, a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, performed a moving setting of Gustav Mahler's “Um Mitternacht.”
      The Wind Symphony also performed the world premiere of the “Concertino for Horn and Wind Symphony,” composed by Richard Prior and featuring international horn virtuoso Eric Ruske. The concertino was commissioned by three organizations of music students at Southeastern -- Delta Omicron, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and CMENC (a collegiate student affiliate of the Music Educators National Conference)-- specifically for Ruske and the Wind Symphony.
      Among the other university wind ensembles selected to perform in 2004 were the Emory Wind Ensemble, University of Georgia Wind Symphony, Florida International Wind Ensemble, Furman Wind Ensemble, Western Kentucky Wind Ensemble, and the University of North Carolina Wind Ensemble.
      According to Bob Priez, a retired member of the music faculty at Southeastern, this appearance by the Wind Symphony marked only the second such honor by a Southeastern band. The Symphonic Band, under the direction of former music department head Bob Weatherly, received a similar invitation to perform at the CBDNA conference in Knoxville, Tenn., in the late 60's or early 70's. The group performed an all-Strauss concert.
      “There are few honors greater for an ensemble than the opportunity to have your work judged by peers, and then given the chance to present your music in such a vibrant, exciting forum,” Hemberger said. “No other ensembles from Louisiana, nor from Mississippi or Alabama, were chosen, and we all felt extremely honored to represent Southeastern in such magnificent fashion.”
      The Wind Symphony will present its spring concert in Hammond on April 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. Guest artist with the Wind Symphony will be Cameron Gates, principal tuba with the United States Marine Band, “The President's Own.”