The University of Central Arkansas Wind Ensemble will present its fall concert on Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m., in the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall on the UCA campus.
The concert, free and open to the public, will feature music from a variety of musical styles that span several centuries. The Wind Ensemble will feature Cuban Overture by George Gershwin, the musical result of his vacation to Havana, Cuba, in 1932 with several friends.
While there, Gershwin became fascinated with the native music of Cuba, especially the “rumba,” and returned to New York armed with Cuban percussion instruments and musical ideas. Originally titled Rumba, it was performed at the Metropolitan Opera under the title Cuban Overture.
The wind ensemble will contrast the jazzy Cuban Overture with the massive Toccata, for pipe organ, by the early Baroque composer Girolamo Frescobaldi. Toccata was transcribed by Earl Slocum for his University of North Carolina band in 1956. Sea Songs was written for the 350th anniversary of the city of Boston.
It was premiered in 1980 by the United States Marine Band in the Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston. Sea Songs is based on nautical songs and sea shanties.
Familiar tunes include “Drunken Sailor” and the haunting “Shenandoah.” In the delightful Children’s March, “Over the Hills and Far Away,” composer Percy Grainger displays his quality skills for scoring in this light and carefree work.
Scored for band in 1919, Children’s March had roots within a piano solo that Grainger had composed between 1916 and 1918. At the time it was rescored, Grainger was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Artillery Band and, thus, the march reflects an orchestration to take advantage of that group’s instrumentation.
It was dedicated to “my playmate beyond the hills,” believed to be Karen Holton, a Scandinavian beauty with whom the composer corresponded for eight years but would not marry because of his possessive mother’s jealousy.
The UCA Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Ricky Brooks, has performed in Salzburg and Vienna, Austria, Carnegie Hall, New York City, and the Capitol in Washington D.C.
The Wind Ensemble has commissioned and premiered several works by Arkansas composer Charles Booker.