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April 23, 2010
Vol. 51 No. 21

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Musicians perform year-long efforts

The Susquehanna Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Choir performed in a concert on Sunday, April 18 at 4 p.m.

Eric Hinton, associate professor of music and director of bands, helped students prepare for the concert.

"The students have been working extremely hard on their own and in sections and have been rehearsing every week," Hinton said.

The symphonic band performed "Amphion," composed by Fergall Carroll. They also performed "Metropolitan Wind Serenade," composed by Peter Schickele.

This piece contained five movements: "Summer Day on the Banks of the Charles," "Times Square," "Nocturne: Golden Gate," "St. Paul Sunday Stroll" and "Git Outa Town!"

According to the university website: "The [symphonic band's] repertoire is composed of a broad spectrum of concert band/wind ensemble literature and is chosen to provide a challenging yet rewarding opportunity for musical, ensemble and personal growth.

"This ensemble explores traditional and contemporary works for band of all periods and styles," the website said.

The choir performed six songs. They sang "At the Earth's Imagined Corners," "Of the Father's Love Begotten," "The Lamb," "Oremus," "Sure On This Shining Night" and "He Never Failed Me Yet."

According to the university website, "The choir prepares and performs both sacred and secular literature, and the major monuments of the choral/orchestral repertoire."

The choir was conducted by Rodney Caldwell, associate professor of music and director of music.

"Our students work hard all the time," Caldwell said. "We rehearse several hours per week and present over 20 performances per year, including six between April 13 and April 22."

He added, "It is at times a grueling schedule, but it is also a pretty good snapshot of what life is like as a professional musician."

Caldwell said his favorite piece is "Sure on This Shining Night" composed by Samuel Barber.

He added: "I have always been drawn to this composer's works and find this to be a very expressive piece of music. It also happens to be one that I think suits the choir very well."

Junior Kelsey Zimmerman was a soloist in the piece "He Never Failed Me Yet."

Caldwell said of Zimmerman: "She is wonderful, not only as a singer, but as a student and person. In addition, she also has a role in the play this week."

He added: "In fact, three of our students are in the play and will be performing in Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon and back here to open the play Thursday night. Again, a lot of hard work and dedication."

The wind ensemble performed three pieces.

The first was titled "Dancing Day," composed by Joseph Downing. The second was "Sasha Takes a Train," composed by Kim Portnoy, and the third was called "Yiddish Dances," composed by Adam Gorb.

"Yiddish Dances" contained five movements: "Khosidl," "Terkische," "Doina," "Hora" and "Freylachs."

"Dancing Day" composer Downing was working toward receiving his doctorate at North-western University while Hinton was an undergraduate at the same university.

According to the university website, "The [wind ensemble's] repertoire consists of a wide variety of music including wind band classics and historic works, as well as newer works that serve to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for new repertoire for this medium."

Hinton said that the wind ensemble is a select group of 45 of the best wind and percussion students. The symphonic band is made up of 70 students.

The groups were invited to perform at the Pennsylvania Music Education Association (PMEA) on April 22 in Pittsburgh.

There they performed the same program as they did at Susquehanna last Sunday.
Hinton said the band has also been to the College Band Director's National Association (CBDNA) in West Chester.

They also performed at an elementary school in Camden on March 11 and 12. They worked with elementary school students in master classes.

Hinton said: "When the University Symphonic Band went on tour during spring break, we played at the H.B Wilson Elementary School in Camden and did master classes with students from the Camden Creative and Performing Arts High School. The next day, we performed at the CBDNA conference in West Chester.


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