Band Extravaganza hits UW-Platteville on Oct. 23

October 12, 2012

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – For the first time in many years, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Symphony Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform together in a Band Extravaganza concert on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall. The performance, which is free and open to the public, will include approximately 130 musicians from the student body and Platteville community.

UW-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts colleagues Dr. Barry Ellis and Matthew Gregg are directing the bands.

“I’m excited to be involved in the first concert of this nature on the UW-Platteville campus, at least in a great many years,” said Gregg, associate director of bands and music instructor at UW-Platteville. “I am also eager to see what sort of audience a performance of both the concert bands may bring.”

The repertoire for the Symphony Band, which is led by Gregg, includes “Undertow” by John Mackey, “Shenandoah” by Frank Ticheli, “Children of the Regiment” by Julius Fucik and movements of Francis McBeth’s “Lauds and Tropes.”

Guest-conducting the Ticheli work is Jacob Klingbeil, a UW-Platteville music major from Reedsburg who also directed a piece during last spring’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert after winning the on-campus conducting competition.

Barry Ellis, UW-Platteville director of bands and professor of music, will conduct the movements of “Laudes and Tropes” as a special tribute to honor two men with ties to UW-Platteville – the composer McBeth and Dan Ellis, Barry’s father. McBeth was commissioned to write the musical collection by the Gamma Eta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., in honor of Dan’s retirement after serving Furman as director of bands for 37 years. Dan Ellis passed away in 2007 and McBeth this January.

“Francis was the guest clinician at our first Band Conductor’s Art Workshop in the summer of 2007, and he was also a great friend to our family – he and my father served in the Army together in the 101st Airborne Division Band,” said Barry Ellis. “He established himself as one of the pre-eminent composers in the field of music for wind band, producing a body of work that is internationally recognized as among the finest of its kind.”

The repertoire for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, which is led by Ellis, includes the Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin, the famous music that precedes the popular “Here Comes the Bride” chorus; Percy Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy,” a cornerstone of the wind band repertoire; and Robert Sheldon’s “Danzas Cubanas,” which includes three original dance-like movements that celebrate the joy and energy of Afro-Cuban music. Ellis added that Sheldon will be the featured conductor and clinician for the UW-Platteville Tri-State Honors Band Festival in February 2013.

Gregg will also conduct the ensemble in Anthony Iannaccone’s “After a Gentle Rain,” the composer’s most popular band work and one that suggests the images of light reflecting off moist green foliage as a metaphor for “reflections,” or thoughts, on old memories.

Ellis said the Band Extravaganza concert is a great preview of the fine music both of these ensembles will be performing in concerts later this year and in the spring of 2013.

For more information, contact Ellis at (608) 342-1017 or ellisb@uwplatt.edu.

Contact: Dr. Barry Ellis, director of bands, UW-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1017, ellisb@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Barbara Weinbrenner, communications specialist, UW-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, weinbreb@uwplatt.edu

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