Music groups to collaborate in annual Band Extravaganza

October 21, 2014
Center for the Arts

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Symphony Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform together at the third annual Band Extravaganza concert on Tuesday, Oct. 28 in the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall, Center for the Arts, at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $7 for general admission and $5 for students.

Dr. Barry Ellis, director of bands and professor of music at UW-Platteville, will conduct the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Matthew Gregg, associate director of bands and director of the Marching Pioneers at UW-Platteville, will conduct the Symphony Band.

“This concert is a rare opportunity for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Symphony Band to collaborate and perform back to back,” said Gregg. “Barry and I are very lucky to have the opportunity to conduct each group. The repertoire for this fall's extravaganza is fantastic.”

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will begin the concert with an arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner,” in celebration of its 200th anniversary, followed by two contrasting marches by European composers – “March” from “Symphonic Metamorphosis” by Paul Hindemith and “March, Opus 99,” by Sergei Prokofiev.  

“These are not what we think of as traditional marches such as John Philip Sousa’s ‘Stars and Stripes,’ although Prokofiev’s march is a patriotic composition that was composed in 1944 in support of the Russian war effort,” said Ellis.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s final work will be “Danzón No. 2” by Arturo Márquez. “‘Danzón No. 2’ is a work that radiates the spirit of the ‘danzón,’ an elegant and exciting salon dance for couples based on the music of Cuba and the Veracruz region of Mexico,” said Ellis. “This work has proven to be a real crowd pleaser.”

The Symphony Band’s repertoire will begin with “Sheltering Sky” by John Mackey. “Mackey’s work is introspective, creative and original,” said Gregg. “‘Sheltering Sky’ is a prime example of this composer's unique sensibility. There is a feeling of misty nostalgia that is palpable when listening to this piece. Mackey elicits a multitude of colors and creates an auditory beauty that defies definition.”

The Symphony Band will also play “Introduction and Fantasia” by Rex Mitchell, which begins with a marimba solo and features percussionists and wind soloists throughout. “The heroic and memorable tutti material serves as the melodic anchor and is framed by slower and more lyrical material,” said Gregg. “It will be a very spirited final work for the first portion of the Band Extravaganza concert.”  

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.

The Symphony Band is a group of talented musicians who provide performances of artistic merit for the benefit of the university and Southwestern Wisconsin communities. The band is open to all UW-Platteville students who play a wind or percussion instrument and have an interest in music.

Contact: Dr. Barry Ellis, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, 608-342-1017, ellisb@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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