The UPEI Wind Symphony, under the direction of Dr. Karem J. Simon, will perform on Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 pm in the Homburg Theatre at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. This special performance is done collaboratively with the PEI Intermediate Honours Band.
Among the highlights of the afternoon, the Wind Symphony will perform “Mars,” the first movement, from Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite “The Planets.” Since its completion in 1916, it has been widely performed and frequently recorded. Each of the seven movements is named after a planet of the solar system. Subtitled “the Bringer of War,” “Mars,” the first movement of the suite, captures the full horror of warfare. The music possesses strong thematic content, pounding rhythms, harsh brass, and percussion.
Virtuoso saxophonist Kevin MacLean will be the featured soloist in a performance of Claude T. Smith’s “Fantasia,” a concertino for alto saxophone and wind ensemble. This work exploits the technical and expressive elements of the modern saxophone. MacLean’s commanding performances of this work during the fall semester were met with enthusiastic audience responses.
Comprised mostly of UPEI music majors, the Wind Symphony has been critically acclaimed for its performance standard and innovative programming. During the past 14 years, the Wind Symphony has produced an annual CD featuring selected repertoire from each year’s performances. Its 2010 CD, Cathedrals, was recipient of the Music PEI Award for best classical recording. Its two most recent CDs, Freebirds (2011) and The Lord of the Rings (2012) have received much praise. Each year the Wind Symphony tours selected areas of the region to provide its membership with additional performance experiences and share its music with a wider audience. Last semester’s performances in Montague and Summerside, and Saint John, NB were well-received.
Since 1992, the PEI Intermediate Honours Band has featured a select group of band students to meet for an intensive weekend of rehearsals under the direction of an acclaimed conductor to advance and enrich their music-making. This year’s Honours Band consists of over 100 instrumentalists and will be under the direction of Maestro Jasor Caslor, director of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Concert Band.
Performances of the UPEI Wind Symphony have generated much interest and the opportunity to hear this ensemble at the Homburg Theatre is eagerly awaited. Tickets for this performance ($10 Adults & $5 students) may be purchased at the Confederation Centre Box Office. All are welcome to attend.