Symphony No. 1 ‘The Lord of the Rings’ featured in Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert

November 14, 2013

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform in a concert on Monday, Nov. 18 in the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall, Center for the Arts, at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $5. The performance is open to the public.

Dr. Barry Ellis, director of bands and professor of music at UW-Platteville, will conduct the ensemble performance. Matthew Gregg, associate director of bands and director of the Marching Pioneers at UW-Platteville, will conduct one of the pieces.

The concert performance will feature the entire Symphony No. 1 “Lord of the Rings,” written by Johan de Meij, a Dutch composer. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the world premier of the symphony.

“The work consists of five separate movements, each illustrating a personage or an important episode from the book,” said Ellis. “This is not the movie soundtrack; in fact, it was composed before the movie trilogy was released. However, it is every bit as exciting and descriptive as the music from the movie.”

During the performance, images from “The Lord of the Rings” movie will be shown on a large screen for audience members to enjoy. The images will be coordinated with the music, giving the audience a visual presentation of what the composer is communicating through the music.

A highlight of the concert will be a solo performance by the winner of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s second annual UW-Platteville Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concerto/Aria Competition this spring, Sean Garde. Garde, a senior music major studying saxophone performance at UW-Platteville from Monroe, Wis., will perform “Fantasia for Alto Saxophone and Band.” Phi Mu Alpha is a fraternity for UW-Platteville music students that is dedicated to the advancement of music and the promotion of individual musical achievement.

“This special concert gives the Department of Performing and Visual Arts a chance to showcase and recognize Sean’s unique talents,” said Ellis. “He is a serious student of the saxophone and has worked so diligently to practice and perfect his skills. He is a remarkable young man and hopes to play professionally and teach saxophone at the university level someday.”

“The concert also gives the Department of Performing and Visual Arts an opportunity for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble to showcase its extraordinary depth by playing the entire Symphony No. 1 ‘The Lord of the Rings,’” added Ellis. “The music is beautiful and is truly a showpiece for the ensemble.”

Additional symphonic wind ensemble repertoire will include Aaron Copland’s “Variations on a Shaker Melody” (1956) and ‘Nimrod’ from “Enigma Variations” (1899) by Edward Elgar.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is the premier wind group of the UW-Platteville music department. Membership is by audition and consists of the finest wind and percussion players at the university. The repertoire is carefully chosen to provide a variety of musical experiences from the traditional to the historical to contemporary art literature. There are 46 UW-Platteville students in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Students are from a wide variety of disciplines, including music, engineering, criminal justice, agriculture and more.

Contact: Barry Ellis, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1017,

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191,


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