Wind Ensemble previews Orchestra Hall concert
On March 26, the Purdue Wind Ensemble will add its name to the list of groups who have performed on the stage of the prestigious Orchestra Hall in Chicago. Music lovers can preview that special concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday (March 3) at the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St. Admission is free.
Pudue's elite concert ensemble, led by Jay Gephart, will perform a mix of contemporary works from composers like Fred Jewell and John Mackey to classics by Camille Saint-Saens and Brahms.
Mackey's "High Wire" captures the sensation of high wire acrobatics done without a net above a three-ring heavy-metal circus. "Quality Plus" is Fred Jewell's most played march in an exciting new arrangement for concert band.
Brahms' "Blessed Are They" is from his German Requiem. It was originally performed on Good Friday in 1868 and led to Brahms being considered a contemporary master of his time.
Saint-Saen's "Occident and Orient" was written in 1869. It begins in the West, with a rousing march melody. The middle section is an homage to Turkish (what Saint-Saens considered Eastern) janissary music, with melodies in the double reeds and jangling percussion, before a return to "western" themes.
Gephart intentionally picked diverse pieces to show off the Purdue Wind Ensemble's versatility.
"To play on the Orchestra Hall stage where the finest musicians in the world have given concerts is very special," says Wind Ensemble director Jay Gephart who was delighted to receive the invitation from World Projects. World Projects is the international leader in providing musicians from around the globe with unique performance opportunities.
"Orchestra Hall is the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and is perceived as a venue available to only the finest professionals in the world, so in a sense it legitimizes what we do at Purdue and what amateur musicians are able to accomplish," says Gephart. "The prestige of being selected gives the Purdue Wind Ensemble another unique opportunity to showcase the talented musicians on this campus."
The Chicago Wind Band Festival is an invitation-only affair. The core participants, just six, are high school bands that come from outstanding programs from around the world.
The Purdue Wind Ensemble will serve as the "showcase" collegiate ensemble at this year's Festival. The Wind Ensemble will perform at the event's closing concert at 8 p.m. CST Tuesday, March 26 at Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan Ave.
"There's a huge sense of energy and excitement about the preparation for this concert that translates into the students stepping it up a notch," says Gephart. Having Greater Lafayette music fans as a preview audience on Sunday helps them prepare for the big event.
The concert is open to the public with $20 tickets available at the door. A reception is being planned prior to the concert at neighboring Tesori restaurant. Advance reservations for that event are necessary; contact Courtney Eash email@example.com.