The University of Central Arkansas music department will present the department’s premiere band, the UCA Wind Ensemble, in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall on the UCA campus.
The Wind Ensemble will be conducted by Ricky Brooks, UCA director of bands. The concert is free and open to the public.
The Wind Ensemble will spotlight soprano Christine Donahue, UCA assistant professor of voice, singing "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," a 1947 work originally written for voice and orchestra by Samuel Barber.
Setting music to excerpts from James Agee’s short story, Knoxville, Barber paints an idyllic, nostalgic picture of Agee’s native Knoxville, Tenn. The short story is a simple, dreamlike depiction of an evening in the American South, narrated by a child who seems, at times, to transform into an adult.
Donahue will also sing "But Not for Me," the George Gershwin jazzy hit from the 1930 musical "Girl Crazy," introduced in the original production by Ginger Rogers.
Steven Smyth, associate director of bands, will conduct Claude Debussy’s "The Engulfed Cathedral," scored for wind band by Merlin Patterson. The piece depicts an old legend from Brittany: To punish the people for the sins, the Cathedral of Y’s is engulfed by the sea. Each sunrise, the townspeople watch as the sunken cathedral rises from the water and then sinks slowly into the ocean.
Rounding out the evening’s concert will be the tour de force "Sinfonietta for Band," by American composer Ingolf Dahl, and the delightful "Gumsucker’s March," by Percy Grainger. A "Gum-sucker" is an Australian nick-name for Australians born in Victoria, the home state of the composer. The eucalyptus trees that abound in Victoria are called "gums," and the young shoots at the bottom of the trunk are called "suckers"; so "gum-sucker" came to mean a young native son of Victoria, just as Ohioans are nick-named "Buck-eyes."
Noted performances by the Wind Ensemble have been Carnegie Hall, the Capitol in Washington D.C., and the International Music Festival in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria.