The TOSH bands, under the direction of Krista Carruthers, will open the recital.
The Wind Symphony will perform an eclectic set of pieces designed to engage the audience and showcase the unique sounds of the wind band. Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovitch’s “Festive Overture” will open their performance. Written in 1954, this work is a favourite of the orchestral repertoire as it is noted for its opening fanfare and rapid, lyrical melodies.
“Traveler,” by the American composer David Maslanka, is the centrepiece of the program. An emotional and virtuosic work, it features cascading runs, colourful orchestration, and spiritual melodies.
Saxophonist Kevin MacLean is soloist in the performance of Claude T. Smith’s “Fantasia.” This work exploits the technical and lyrical capabilities of the saxophone. MacLean is UPEI’s sessional saxophone instructor and is known for his body of work as a soloist and chamber musician. He has been featured with the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra.
The Wind Symphony will conclude the evening with Charles Ives’ “Variations On America.” Ives was just 17 when he wrote this work for the organ. It has been popularized as a result of transcriptions for orchestra and wind band. This piece presents five variations each with a unique character.
The UPEI Wind Symphony consists of 25 music majors, other UPEI students, and community musicians. Its mandate is to provide opportunities for its participants to apply their performance skills and develop musically through the study and performance of original and transcribed wind band literature. In addition, it is a forum through which professional attributes of ensemble performance are developed. It is within its mission to give its audiences quality wind music, in the widest possible range of musical style and expression. The Wind Symphony has one, two-hour rehearsal each week.
Each year the Wind Symphony tours selected areas of the region to provide its membership with additional performance experiences and share its musicking with a wider audience. As part of this process the symphony has partnered with most of P.E.I.’s school band programs.
During the past 14 years the Wind Symphony has produced an annual compact disc featuring selected repertoire from each year’s performances. “Cathedrals,” released in May 2010, received the 2011 Music P.E.I. Award for Best Classical Recording. In February 2011 the Wind Symphony released its “O Canada” CD, a project exclusively for P.E.I. public schools. Its most recent CDs — “Freebirds,” (2011) and “Lord of the Rings” (2012) have been highly acclaimed.