OSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble presents winter concert


CORVALLIS - The Oregon State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by David Hoffman, will present its Winter Concert on Sunday, March 11, in the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus. The concert begins at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The evening will open with Percy Grainger's "Children's March." Written originally for piano in 1918 and scored for band the following year, this piece is perhaps Grainger's most performed work for band, and has become a favorite of audiences.

"Petite Symphony," by French composer Charles Gounod, is a four-movement work written for nine players, and features a flute solo performed by senior music student Pippa Barton. The first half of the program will close with "Paris Sketches" by Martin Ellerby. The four-movement suite, composed in 1994, is a tribute to Paris and composers associated with the city, including Hector Berlioz and Erik Satie.

The second half of the concert will begin with "Desi" by contemporary American composer Michael Daugherty. Daugherty's music often incorporates elements of pop culture, and this jazzy work was inspired by the persona of Desi Arnaz, who was best known as a Cuban bandleader in the "I Love Lucy" television series. As a singing bongo drum player in many movies of the 1940's, Arnaz helped popularize Latin American music. Sophomore percussionist Lance Lacey is featured on bongo drums.

The major work of the concert is the "Symphony for Band" by Paul Hindemith. Composed for the United States Army Band in 1951, this three-movement work rivals any orchestral work in length, breadth and content, and influenced numerous other first rate composers to write works for band. The symphony is widely considered one of the finest and most important works ever composed for band.

The concert concludes with Ron Nelson's Rocky Point Holiday. This composition combines elements of classical and jazz music into a uniquely American style, and has become a favorite of audiences across the country.

Hoffman, the newly appointed director of bands at OSU, said that traditional band audiences will appreciate the diversity of the program and the inclusion of several classic band works, but he also hopes to lure new audience members.

"The Hindemith Symphony is one of the finest examples of combining compositional craft with artistic expression," he said. "Along with the Gounod piece, this work will be enjoyed by patrons of the symphony orchestra. Jazz fans will love 'Desi' in particular and will also enjoy works by Ellerby and Nelson."