UPEI Wind Symphony presents Rumpelstilzchen

Graduating UPEI music student Sarah Chace plays the piccolo in a recent performance.
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Posted on Monday, 24 March 2014

The UPEI Wind Symphony will perform its final recital of the academic year on Thursday, March 27 at 7:30 pm at UPEI’s Dr. Steel Recital Hall. This has been a particularly busy and musically rewarding year for the Wind Symphony with highly successful performances throughout the fall and winter.

This recital will feature contemporary works for the modern wind band, the centerpiece of which is the programmatic work Rumpelstilzchen by American composer Jess Turner. Rumpelstiltzchen is an impish creature with the power to spin straw into gold. He deceives a young maiden into giving up her firstborn son in exchange for saving her life with her power, but is eventually foiled when she exploits his weakness and guesses his name. This piece is a highly descriptive tone poem depicting the story of this classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. With movements titled “Spinning Straw into Gold,” “The Maiden’s Lament,” and “Rumpelstilzchen’s Fury,” Turner’s composition is an engaging symphonic work.

The Wind Symphony will also premier its performance of Two-Lane Blacktop, a work for which the Wind Symphony joined a consortium to commission American composer James M. David to write. It plays homage to the open road and the distant horizon with gestures conveying gearshifts and the timeless feeling of driving through the Utah desert. Frank Ticheli’s Blue Shades will conclude the program. It is a virtuosic work that is a tribute to the Big Band Era, heavily influenced by the Blues, Burlesques, and other clichés from the golden era of jazz.

This recital will be the final Wind Symphony performance for nine of its graduating students—Branden Kelly, percussion; Nik Dragatakis, guitar; Laura McLeod, trumpet; Nadine Haddad, euphonium; Isaac Williams, string bass; Justin Fitzsimmons, horn; Cora Wong, flute; Sarah Chace, piccolo; and Kate Thompson, clarinet. All nine, most of whom are principals, have made significant contributions to UPEI, and the Wind Symphony in particular, throughout their undergraduate careers.

The UPEI Wind Symphony received the ‘2014 Music PEI award for Achievement in Classical Music.’ Under the direction of Dr. Karem J. Simon, the Wind Symphony has had a progressive approach to its programming, and in reaching a wider audience. With performances throughout PEI and beyond each year, partnerships with PEI school music programs, and utilizing unique performance spaces, the Wind Symphony is among PEI's most respected large ensembles. Commissioning new compositions, featuring outstanding student and professional soloists, and showcasing masterworks of the wind band genre are all hallmarks of this ensemble.

Tickets for this performance are available in advance at UPEI’s music department or at the door prior to the recital. All are welcome to attend.

For information:
Karem Simon, Professor, Department of Music, UPEI
(902) 566-0702 (office), (902) 892-5993 (home), ksimon@upei.ca