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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.
SOUTHEASTERN WIND SYMPHONY PERFORMS
AT ATLANTA CONFERENCE
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
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