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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Concert band will celebrate Asian themes, Feb. 26

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KINGSTON, R.I.—February 15, 2010— The University of Rhode Island Concert Band will ring in the Year of the Tiger with a concert of music inspired by Asian cultures on Friday, February 26, which falls neatly within this year’s 15-day celebration of the Chinese New Year (February 14 through the end of the month).

The concert, which will be held at 8:00 p.m. in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall at 105 Upper College Road, Kingston, will include a Chinese piece specifically written for the New Year festival and other pieces with roots in Japanese and Korean cultures. Admission is $8 general public, $2 students, with tickets available at the box office on a first-come basis starting 45 minutes before the concert.

Conducted by Dr. Brian Cardany, URI Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands, the Concert Band is one of the university’s largest performance ensembles. Its ninety-seven members will perform a program including the following works: Festal Scenes by Yasuhide Ito (b. 1960), composed from four folk songs from Japan and commissioned by the Ominato Band of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force; Japanese Tune by Soichi Konagaya (b. 1949), a one-movement work comprised of four distinctly different sections; Morning Alleluias for the Winter Solstice by Ron Nelson (b. 1929), which was inspired by a morning in Hiroshima and premiered there in 1989; Spring Festival by Chen Yi (b. 1953), written for the Chinese (Lunar) New Year, which is also celebrated as the title festival; and Variations on a Korean Folk Song by popular band composer John Barnes Chance (1932-1972), based upon the Korean folk song “Arirang,” which the composer first heard while serving in the Eighth U.S. Army Band in 1958-59 in Korea. Composed in 1965, the piece won the Ostwald Award for composition in 1966.

The URI band program is inventive and diverse. It includes all wind, brass and percussion players, including some who are non-music majors. Participation in the band ensembles offers students the opportunity to rehearse exciting music and perform at events and tours both on and off campus.

Dr. Cardany taught instrumental music in the public schools of Virginia and Maryland for five years, including concert, marching, and jazz bands, pit orchestra, percussion ensemble and classroom guitar. In the Band Department at Arizona State University, he managed and conducted all four concert ensembles (Chamber Winds, Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, and Concert Band), directed the ASU Pep Band and worked extensively with the Sun Devil Marching Band. He also founded the Arizona State University Brass Choir and served as its conductor for three years.

An adjudicator for honor band auditions at the county, district and state levels, Dr. Cardany is increasingly sought as a guest conductor/clinician and has been invited to schools in Arizona, Maryland, Connecticut, and throughout Rhode Island. He has repeatedly been invited to serve as an adjudicator/clinician for concert band and jazz band festivals sponsored by the Rhode Island Music Educators Association and the Maine Music Educators Association. He served as conductor for the 2009 Massachusetts Music Educators Association Central Division Senior Honor Band and the 2005 Rhode Island Junior Division All-State Band.

As a trumpet player, he has performed with the Maryland Wind Symphony, the Sunset Jazz Orchestra in Washington, D. C. and the Tempe Symphony Orchestra in Tempe, Arizona, and is currently a member of the American Band in Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Cardany also serves as Assistant Conductor for both the American Band and the URI Symphony Orchestra. He holds both Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Music Education from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Music, also in Music Education, from James Madison University.

The URI Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center, off Bills Road. Concert ticket proceeds are used to support Music Department scholarships.

For more information, please contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check the website: www.uri.edu/artsci/mus.