Grace College Community Wind Ensemble Fall Concert – “Portraits for Wind Ensemble”

Grace College Wind Ensemble Fall Concert – “Portraits for Wind Ensemble”

Winona Lake, Indiana — The Grace College Community Wind Ensemble will present an evening of music titled “Portraits for Wind Ensemble” on Friday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Rodeheaver Auditorium in Winona Lake. The concert is free and open to the public. A variety of styles from classical to musical theatre will be performed that shows the versatility of the wind band.

The Wind Ensemble will open the concert with March “Grandioso”, a march that has often been featured in parades.  The Grandioso incorporates a theme from the fourteenth of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies. On November 21, 1930, John Philip Sousa conducted the University of Pennsylvania Band at the student quadrangle in Seitz’s march for the band. Afterwards, Sousa said: “That is one of the best band marches, aside from my own productions, I have ever conducted.”

Second on the program the band will perform one of the most popular of all band compositions. Gustav Holst’s “Second Suite in F for Military Band”.  Gustav Holst‘s second and last suite for concert band, although performed less frequently than the First Suite in E-flat, it is still a staple of the band literature.

Finishing the first half of the program is a new arrangement for wind band. “La Tregenda”, the witches’ dance from the opera Le Villi, by the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. Written in 1864, this exciting instrumental selection from the one-act opera Le Villi occurs in a scene filled with magic and terror. Fast and furious, the music portrays a dance to the death. “La Tregenda” cannot be found in an Italian dictionary— or the vocabulary— today. However, in Italian, leggenda means legend; tragedia means tragedy. It is quite likely the two words were combined to convey the meaning, “the tragic legend.”

Opening the second half of the concert The Wind Ensemble presents “Tchaikovsky Suite”. The movements in “Tchaikovsky Suite” have been taken from Tchaikovsky’s Album for the Young, Op. 39, originally written for piano. James Barnes has selected five pieces including: Russian Folk Song; Morning Prayer; Mazurka; Polka and Waltz.  Delightfully scored for the band and will entertain the audience with each unique movement.

Next “Highlights from Les Miserables” conceived from the idea for a stage musical version of Victor Hugo‘s Les Misérables, which opened at the Palais de Sports in Paris in 1980. The musical opened to acclaim in London in 1985 and on Broadway in 1987. The Broadway production was nominated for twelve Tony Awards and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.  Les Misérables celebrated its twentieth anniversary in London in October, 2005 and it is the third-longest-running Broadway musical following Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

Everyone loves a circus and what would a circus be without the spinning, whirlwind music that makes us hold our breath during the tightrope act or gasp at the trapeze artist? The concert finale is The Mystic Call, a circus march by Karl King. King composed this march for circus use, and dedicated it to his friend Charles Duble, a trombonist for numerous circus bands of the early 1900s. As for the title, it is from Masonic ritual, with Karl King having been very active in the Masons and Shrine.

The Grace College Community Wind Ensemble, conducted by Martin Becker, has been presenting concerts under Martin Becker’s baton for the past ten years.  Mr. Becker said “the band will number sixty musicians for this concert and the Rodeheaver Auditorium’s acoustics will be in for a workout.  The instrumentation is outstanding and will feature some of the area’s finest musicians.  The band is made up of Grace College students, community members, and professional musicians. I am looking forward to the performance and encourage everyone’s attendance; this will be one not to miss.”


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