Southern performers fine-tune for closing concert


Contributor Ricardo Espinosa

The Southern Wind Ensemble poses for a group photo before their performance on March 10, 2015. The ensemble will perform with the concert band at 7:30 p.m. on April 20, in Taylor Performing Arts Center.

On Monday, April 20, the Missouri Southern Department of Music will present the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band Concert. The performance will take place in Taylor Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.

The concert band is the premiere performance, featuring pieces such as; “An Original Suite” by Gordon Jacob; “Ye Banks and Braes (O’Boonie Doon)” by Percy Grainger; “American Barndance” by Richard L. Saucedo; “On a Hymnsong of Phillip Bliss” by David Holsinger; and “Fate of the Gods” by Steven Reineke.

The band is comprised of woodwinds, brass and percussion as opposed to a symphony orchestra, which also includes string instruments.

“I have undergraduate student conductors, so I want these student conductors to do as much teaching of the ensemble as possible under my close supervision,” said director Ricardo Espinosa. “The purpose being that music education majors need to get as much time in front of wind ensembles as they can because that’s what they’re going to be doing all day when they get to public schools.”

The first performance of the wind ensemble is a world premier of Fanfare composed by Espinosa’s mother-in-law, Jeanne Windoffer. The piece was originally written for piano in 1998, but Espinosa later arranged it for brass.

“I remember one of the first times I heard it I mentioned to her how wonderful this would work if adapted for brass instruments, an idea she seemed happy to allow me to try. It only took about a decade, but I finally actually did it,” said Espinosa in the program notes.

The wind ensemble will also feature Project Trio brought by Pro Musica and sponsored by Ernie Williamson. The trio includes beat-boxing flautist Greg Pattillo, cellist Eric Stephenson, and bassist Peter Seymour.

“They’re a very innovative group. You’re not going to hear traditional classical music done in a traditional manner. It’s very accessible, so it’s stuff that will get today’s audiences excited about what they’re doing, and that’s what they’re trying to do, to bridge the gap between the classically minded concert goers and the people who maybe are not such,” said Espinosa.

The concert is free and open to the public.