The Virginia Commonwealth University Symphonic Wind Ensemble will make its Carnegie Hall debut on March 18, performing at the storied venue in New York City as a showcase for the Sixth Annual New York Wind Band Festival. The VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, a 50-piece band conducted by Terry Austin, Ph.D., director of bands and professor of […]
The Virginia Commonwealth University Symphonic Wind Ensemble will make its Carnegie Hall debut on March 18, performing at the storied venue in New York City as a showcase for the Sixth Annual New York Wind Band Festival.
The VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, a 50-piece band conducted by Terry Austin, Ph.D., director of bands and professor of music at VCU, will perform five pieces on the Carnegie Hall stage. They will play at about 9:15 p.m. VCU was one of two university bands invited to perform as a showcase for the festival. The Furman University Wind Ensemble is also performing March 18.
“Certainly, this is one of the benchmarks,” said Austin, who will serve as a member of the teaching faculty at the festival. “It’s a benchmark for these students and it’s a benchmark for our program. The quality of our student musicians is at an all-time high right now and it’s getting higher every year. The opportunity to show them off in a setting like Carnegie Hall is a dream come true.”
The Carnegie Hall performance is the latest in a series of major appearances for the VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble in recent years. The band played at the American Bandmasters Association Conference in 2004, performed at the Southern Division of the Music Educators National Conference in 2005 and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in 2006.
Austin said the scheduled appearance at Carnegie Hall has served as a powerful motivating tool for the members of the ensemble. The experience itself, he said, will exceed their high expectations.
“Playing in that auditorium is going to be an amazing experience for them,” Austin said. “When they get up there, all they are going to be able to think about is the thousands of historic performances that have happened on that stage before them and they are going to realize that they have become a part of that tradition.”
The VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform “Fanfare for the Common Man,” by Aaron Copland; “Percussion Concerto, Third Movement,” by Joseph Schwantner, which will include soloist Kristopher Keeton, assistant professor of percussion at VCU; “Fugal Orchestra,” by Gustav Holst, directed by Patrick Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor of horn and music history at VCU; “O Mensch, Bewein Dein Sunde Gross,” by Johan Sebastian Bach; and “Extreme Makeover: Metamorphosis on a Theme of Tchaikovsky,” by Johan de Meij.
– The information above was provided by Tom Gresham, VCU Communications & Public Relations