URI Band Ensembles Offer Concerts Oct. 18, 23

KINGSTON, R.I.—October 2, 2009— The stirring sounds of wind, brass, and percussion instruments will be the focus of two University of Rhode Island Music Department concerts offered to the public this month. The URI Symphonic Wind Ensemble, which has earned an exemplary reputation throughout the New England region, will perform at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 18, while the University Concert Band, one of the largest URI ensembles, will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 23.

Both concerts will be held in the Concert Hall of the URI Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. Tickets are available at the concert box office on a first-come basis starting 45 minutes before each concert, with admission of $8.00/general public and $2/students.

Directed by Gene J. Pollart, who heads the Band program at URI, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble consists of the most outstanding wind and percussion players at the university, selected by audition. Since its inception in 1963, the ensemble has been dedicated to presenting the finest literature from all musical periods to its audiences, although there is particular interest in performing American wind literature. They have performed at several national conferences and the New England Wind Festival. They were among the few college-level ensembles to perform at the 2009 Eastern Division Music Educators National Conference, where they earned high accolades and praise.

The program for this concert includes: Renaissance Set by Giovanni Gabrieli, three canzonas of the Renaissance composer’s double choir instrumental pieces, using a brass choir against a marimba ensemble; Masque by W. Francis McBeth, which uses numerous 20th century devices, such as a variety of percussion instruments, non-traditional harmonies, and short motives for melodic interest; Goddess of Fire by Steven Reineke, a programmatic piece representing the volcanoes of Hawaii; Konigsmarsch by Richard Strauss, a splendid march by this composer mostly known for opera and large symphonic works; and Twelve Seconds To The Moon by Robert Smith, a musical journey from the Wright brothers to the Apollo missions, celebrating man’s conquest of the sky and heavens above.

The University Concert Band is directed by Brian Cardany, an associate director of both the Band program and of the URI Symphony Orchestra. This large ensemble performs a wide range of music, from traditional to contemporary, and is comprised of music and non-music majors. Membership is open but requires a seating placement audition.

The program for their concert will be a tribute to award-winning composer Frank Ticheli (b. 1958), who is Professor of Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music and best known for his many works for concert band. Works to be performed include: Nitro (2006), an energetic three-minute fanfare for band; Sun Dance (1997), a sunny ode to “bright joy”; two works, each in two movements, influenced by the Cajun folksong tradition: Cajun Folk Songs (1991) and Cajun Folk Songs II (1997); An American Elegy (2000), a hopeful piece composed in memory of those who lost their lives at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, and to honor the survivors as a tribute to their great strength and courage in the face of a terrible tragedy; and Vesuvius (1999), which with its driving rhythms and exotic modes represents a dance from the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii.

The URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the building, off Bills Road.

For more information, contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431.