Willimantic, Conn. – The Music Program at Eastern Connecticut State University presented the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble Fall concert on Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Instructional Center Concert Hall.
The Concert Band is a unique blend of more than 80 musicians, including Eastern students, faculty, alumni, local music educators and talented musicians from the community. Performance repertoire includes classic band literature as well as challenging works from contemporary composers.
The Concert Band performed six pieces, with “Flourish for Wind Band” by Ralph Williams opening the performance. The ensemble also performed “Handel in the Strand” by Percy Grainger, one of Grainger’s earliest light orchestral pieces, composed in 1911. The performance continued with the ensemble’s rendition of “Hymn to a Blue Hour” by John Mackey, a piece about a lingering twilight that glows from the sky when the sun is below the horizon but before complete darkness sets in. The ensemble also performed “Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky. The dramatic “March to the Scaffold” by Hector Berlionz told the story of a man’s strange vision in which witnesses his own execution. The ensemble ended their performance with their rendition of “Radetsky March” by Johann Strauss Jr., a piece which is still used to end the famous New Year’s Day concert in Vienna.
The Wind Ensemble is the newest instrumental ensemble and provides students with a unique, student-centric instrumental playing experience. The small ensemble performs music from the wind ensemble and chamber winds repertoire as well as more contemporary works.
“Sea Songs” by Ralph Williams opened the ensemble’s performance and is a work that Williams composed to convey his admiration for the Royal Military School of Music. The ensemble also performed “On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss” by David Holsinger, a piece originally written by Horatio Spafford after his four daughters drowned when their boat sank in 1873. Bliss was so impressed with Spafford’s text that he wrote music for it and published the song in 1876. The performance continued with the ensemble’s rendition of “Courtly Airs and Dances” by Ron Nelson, a collection of Renaissance dances, and ended their performance with a rendition of “The Immovable Do” by Percy Grainger.
About Eastern Connecticut State University
Eastern Connecticut State University is the state of Connecticut’s public liberal arts university, serving more than 5,300 students annually at its Willimantic campus and satellite locations. In addition to attracting students from 158 of Connecticut’s 169 towns, Eastern also draws students from 20 other states and 63 other countries. A residential campus offering 39 majors and 58 minors, Eastern offers students a strong liberal art foundation grounded in an array of applied learning opportunities. Ranked the 26th top public university in the North Region by U.S. News and World Report in its 2017 Best College ratings, Eastern has also been awarded “Green Campus” status by the U.S. Green Building Council seven years in a row. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu.