Wind Ensemble prepare for concert, trip to NYC

In February 2013, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble plans to travel to New York City to play in Carnegie Hall.

Students in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble practice for their upcoming concert 3 p.m. on March 4 in the Young Auditorium. Dr. Glenn Hayes directs the ensemble. Photo by Daniel Sheldon

Sophomore percussionist Dominic Gischia said he hopes he makes the auditions so he can participate with the ensemble in this event.

“Carnegie Hall is the premiere concert stage in the U.S., the most famous by far and one of the most famous in the world,” SWE Director Glenn Hayes said.

He said they were invited by World Projects International after hearing them play in England in 2005.

“They heard us while we performed in Manchester, England and were very impressed with the band,” Hayes said. “They were very impressed with the ensemble and they invited us to be the collegiate showcase band for the New York Wind Band Festival.”

Hayes said that New York Wind Band Festival is a national festival for high school bands, so the ensemble will perform in front of high school students from all over the country. World Projects International also invited ensembles from other universities from across the U.S., such as the University of Illinois and the University of Louisville, that will perform along with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble from UW-Whitewater at Carnegie Hall next year.

They still have some planning to do for this travel opportunity, Hayes said, but the event doesn’t take place until next year, so they’ve got plenty of time to prepare for it.

The SWE, which is the premiere wind band at UW-Whitewater, will perform in a concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 4 at the Irvin L. Young Auditorium.

Hayes said the ensemble is open to all students, but by audition. This year 47 students are in the ensemble, which includes woodwinds, brass and percussion instrumentalists.

The upcoming concert will include two solos by UW-Whitewater Tuba Instructor, Dr. John Tuinstra. The students will perform in three other compositions, consisting of a symphony and two poetry-inspired pieces.

The students have been preparing for this concert since the start of the semester.

Senior clairnet player Emily Baumgart and Gischia said they are both looking forward to showcasing all the hard work they have been doing this semester.

“It’s an opportunity to show the community what we’ve accomplished,” Baumgart said. “It’s a good chance to hear music that you wouldn’t hear that often.”

It’s different from the music that gets played on the radio every day, she said.

This concert is one that SWE performs at least once during an academic semester.

“I’m really looking forward to giving a really good performance to showcase all the hard work we’ve been doing,” Gischia said.

Gischia is also the section leader for percussionists. He said he plays a variety of instruments including the symphony, snare drum, bass drum and whip.

“The students have worked very hard and there will be something in this concert for everybody,” Hayes said. “We’re going to have everything from symphony, to a really fun time with one of Dr. Tuinstra’s solos.”

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