Wind Symphony students to perform concert as part of academic experience.
Nadiyah Suleiman, Page Editor
TWU’s Wind Symphony will have its first concert for the 2015-16 academic year on October 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Margo Jones Performance Hall. Assistant music professor and Director of Bands Dr. Russell Pettitt will be conducting the Wind Symphony, which includes woodwinds, brass and percussion.
The students’ role
Students performing in the concert went through an audition process heard by Pettitt that happens every semester during the first week of school. The auditions will place the students into one of the two bands TWU has to offer: TWU’s Wind Symphony and University Band.
The Wind Symphony consists of 52 undergraduate and graduate students, with the majority of them being music majors, with the exception of a few students. Rehearsals take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:20. Pettitt said: “I hope that each student performs challenging and diverse music well, and that in doing so, they improve their ability as a musician and also their understanding of the broad world of music making.”
The pieces to be performed
Pettitt stated: “When choosing music to perform with Wind Symphony, I have a curriculum in mind. It’s important for our students to study and perform music from a variety of styles and composers.” Below are the pieces Pettitt has chosen for the upcoming concert:
“Medium Funk Prelude” by Paul Richards
“Wayfaring Stranger” set by Christopher M. Nelson
“Molly on the Shore” by Percy Grainger
“Early Light” by Carolyn Bremer
“Mockingbirds” by Arthur J. Michaels
“Elizabeth’s Prayer” from Tannhaeuser by Richard Wagner performed with Ms. Jennifer
Youngs, faculty soprano soloist
“Variations on a Korean Folk Song” by John Barnes Chance
Pettitt added: “Each piece has its character. There are moments in some of our pieces that we’re performing that should sound bright and cheery and fun. Then there’s some other music or moments in specific music that should sound dark and resonant and rich.”
According to Pettitt there is always strong support from parents and grandparents of the performers, as well as an attendance of local band directors and public school band students. Pettitt remarked: “We want to show the community what art music is, and that’s what we teach at [TWU] art music as opposed to pop music or folk music. We hope to perform art music at a sufficiently high level that it is meaningful to the persons who attend a concert, and that they learn something”