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The Statesman

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The Statesman

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Classic to Modern, Wind Ensemble Performs First Concert of the Year

With a wave of Bruce Engel’s baton, the Wind Ensemble flooded the Staller Center with music. The night was focused on the theme “Winds and Water,” hinting at the ensemble’s instruments and connecting with the idea of the two elements.  The Nov. 18th performance included a variety of music from nineteenth century classics to recent pieces.

As the audience arrived, the Wind Ensemble warmed up on stage.  As the performers took their places, Engel, the conductor, approached the stage.

“I had a fantastic time,” Engel said, “I enjoyed [the performance] immensely; it’s a great group and directing it was sheer pleasure.  I can’t imagine having any more fun for a group.”

The first composition performed was “Moldau from Ma Vast” (My Country) by Bedrich Smetana, followed by “Suite from Water Music” by Georg Friedrich Handel.  “The Engulfed Cathedral” by Claude Debussy and “Sea Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams were also played.

At intermission, a trumpet player in the group, Joe Piccininni, majoring in computer science, said, “So far, it’s going really well.  We worked really hard this year, this year especially.  It’s really a good experience for me.  I’m a sophomore and I get to play with a world renowned conductor, lots of talented performers.”

Piccininni was referring to Engel who has conducting experience with the Goldman Band and the New Jersey Pops. Engel has also conducted in Florence, Rome, Venice, Seville, Toldep and Madrid.

“Victory at Sea” by Richard Rogers and “Colonel Bogey” by Kenneth J. Alford ensued after, and they were followed by “Pirates of the Caribbean” by Klaus Badelt and “Selections from Show Boat” by Jerome Kern.  The Wind Ensemble ended with encore presentations, including music recognized from the movie “Jaws 2″ and “Fantasy on Stormy Weather.”

“I thought it was really nice,” said John Heslin, a freshman majoring in biochemistry. “I liked how they got all the different kinds of songs, how they went with the classical music and then they brought a little modern [music] like the Jaws.”

Sophomore Kait Girerlich, an anthropology major, said, “It’s a wonderful performance. It’s nice seeing the students and other people from the community together and playing music on stage.”

Next semester, the Wind Ensemble will be performing “Winds of Revolution,” with pieces focusing on different revolutions.

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