Wind Symphony performs deconstruction of musical genres

Assistant Lifestyle Editor
A french horn quartet performs April 1st for the Wind Symphony Chamber Concert at Patti Strickel Harrison.

The Texas State Wind Symphony held its Chamber Concert titled “Deconstructed” on Wednesday at the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The performance featured selections including Serenade No. 10 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, ‪Prelude from Le Tombeau de Couperin by Marice Ravel and Kleine Dreigroschenmusik by Kurt Weill.

Caroline Beatty, director of bands, has conducted the Wind Symphony for the past four years. The performance was added in order to use the new Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, Beatty said.

“There has been some music that I have wanted to play with the groups, and this is a great way to put it out there,” Beatty said. “Also, this gives our ensemble members a chance to play in that hall because our usual Wind Symphony Concerts are played in Evans Auditorium.”

Beatty said the 55-member Wind Symphony was broken into groups for the performances. This system allowed students to work with music they would not normally have the chance to play.

“There is a repertoire of really great music for winds and percussion that has been written for smaller groups instead of the large group we have when we put the entire band on the stage,” Beatty said. “I wanted to give these musicians the opportunity to play those pieces as well.” 

Beatty said the Wind Symphony’s instrumentation is different from that of most orchestral groups.

“Wind Symphony is basically a band, and it is referred to as that many times,” Beatty said. “In a traditional orchestra you would have strings and fewer wind players, and in a band you also have saxophones and euphoniums, which would not be found in an orchestra.”

Beatty said auditions are held twice a year for the Wind Symphony’s fall and spring semesters. The group is open to music and non-music majors, like other concert bands on campus.

“We have Wind Symphony, Symphonic Winds and Concert Band, and we do auditions for those at the beginning of the fall semester for that same semester, and then we do it again right after Thanksgiving for the spring,” Beatty said.

Non-music majors have the option to audition for placement in one of the three groups, or they can choose to register to be in the Concert Band without an audition, Beatty said.

Steven Vogel, trombone performance senior, said the Wind Symphony is the top wind ensemble at Texas State, which comes with challenges and rewards.

“The repertoire that gets played by this band is more advanced, and therefore you have a larger selection of things that you can play,” Vogel said. “It is more challenging and, overall, just a little more fun.”

Vogel said the variety of music sets the show apart from previous performances. 

“We covered music such as Mozart, which is from the eighteenth century, and also music written within the last 20 years,” Vogel said. “It was a pretty big span, which meant there is something for everyone.”

Kleine Dreigroschenmusik by Kurt Weill, the fifth song of the night, included a banjo and accordion.

“One of the pieces that was performed had a banjo and an accordion, which are both special pieces we don’t traditionally use,” Beatty said.

Vanguel Tangarov, clarinet associate professor, and Morris Nelms, jazz piano senior lecturer, took the stage to perform Prelude, Fugue and Riffs by Leonard Bernstein.

Vogel said the piece was written for a clarinet solo with a jazz ensemble instead of a large concert band. A jazz band was created using members of the symphony to aid the two professors, Vogel said.

“The performance has a lot of jazz, and we saw two of our top professors, who are both international award winners, playing this crazy jazz piece,” Vogel said. 

Allison McGlamery, animal science freshman, said the performance exceeded expectations.

“I really liked watching the clarinetist in the last song play at the height of the performance,” McGlamery said. “I was watching his fingers, and they were moving so fast.”

Vogel said the variety of music featured at the concert made it the perfect event for music and non-music majors alike.

“Sometimes people kind of stray away from classical music because they think it is really long, but with this show none of the pieces were like that,” Vogel said. “Each one of the songs was really short, and they were all very different, which made it easy for the audience to engage.”