501 Life Magazine | Wind ensemble concert at UCA
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Wind ensemble concert at UCA

The University of Central Arkansas Wind Ensemble will be in concert Thursday, March 17, in the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall.

The 7:30 p.m. concert is free and open to the public.

“This concert has a lot of ‘features’ in it,” said Dr. Ricky Brooks, director of bands at UCA. “We feature two of our graduate students, one conducting, one performing. We are happy to collaborate and perform with the Pinnacle Brass Quintet on a piece by our visiting composer, Eric Ewazen. While on campus, Mr. Ewazen sat in on one of the rehearsals of ‘Shadow Catcher’ and coached all of us on the piece.”

The program will include “Geshwindmarsch” from Beethoven’s "Symphony Serena," transcribed by Paul Hindemith and conducted by Nathan Rakow, a graduate conducting intern; “Shadow of Anubis for Marimba and Wind Ensemble,” composed by Dr. Blake Tyson, UCA’s percussion professor, which will feature the winner of the UCA Wind Ensemble Student Spotlight Competition, Scott Strickland, a graduate percussion student; Ewazen’s “Shadow Catcher,” composed for brass quintet and wind ensemble and featuring the UCA faculty brass quintet, Pinnacle Brass; “La Fiesta Mexicana” by H. Owen Reed, a three-movement work that musically depicts a fiesta — fireworks in the town square, a gala fiesta, a bullfight, the local cantina, an itinerant circus, an Aztec dance, a religious mass and a mariachi band — in a small Mexican village where the composer lived on an extended visit to Mexico; and “The Melody Shop” march by Karl King, which features the euphonium section of the wind ensemble and described by Brooks as “a fun, show-stopper ending to the concert.”

Brooks said that "La Fiesta Mexicana” was one of the large-scale, major works in the wind band repertoire.

“It requires mature musicians in all sections of the band,” he said. “Our students have gained experience preparing a major work [like this]. I’m pleased with how they’ve responded to the music and how they have improved through the challenges of the piece.”

For more information on the Wind Ensemble Concert, you can contact Dr. Ricky Brooks at rickyb@uca.edu or call 501.450.5764.