The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts lawn was home to two wind ensembles Tuesday evening, June 19: the Summer Youth Wind Ensemble and the Pittsburg Summer Wind Band.
Beginning at noon, the Summer Youth Wind Ensemble met on the Bicknell stage to prepare a program for the night’s concert. The Youth Wind Ensemble is comprised of students from the four-state area, from as far as Lamar and Webb City to right here in Pittsburg. The age range and experience level is just as varied, spanning from eighth graders with up to two years experience, all the way to incoming freshmen preparing to study music at Pitt State.
“The most important thing is the music,” said Andrew Chybowski, conducting professor and director. “In our world, to most people, music is something you consume, not do. We’re here to show them that we do music.”
Chybowski took over as director of the Summer Wind Band from fellow professor of music, Douglas Whitten, who ran rehearsals and led the ensemble in last year’s Chamber Music Festival. Chybowski and the Youth Wind Ensemble learned and rehearsed the music the day of the concert, which required building a relationship within a group that had never worked together before.
“The fact we can come together regardless of level to make music is pretty cool,” Chybowski said.
The Summer Youth Wind Ensemble day camp is a pilot program with the intention of involving additional students to make even more music. Chybowski said he would like to expand the camp to a multiple day experience, providing learner courses in music theory, composition, and conducting.
The inspiration behind forming the Summer Youth Wind Ensemble came from the desire and need to perform music during the summer.
“Students and directors actually contacted me, describing how they don’t have many summer performance opportunities without having to drive long distances,” Chybowski said. “There was a lot of demand for that. It was really a grassroots effort by the schools.”
The performance by both the ensembles was part of the department of music’s Pittsburg Chamber Music Festival, taking place from June 18 to 23. The festival is part of an effort to provide Pittsburg with unique musical experiences. The Pittsburg Summer Wind Band was the second performance in the series and the ensemble consisted of individuals from all walks of the musical life at Pitt State from professors to students. PSU alumni and community members also joined the music making, including several double-dippers playing in both the Summer Band and the Summer Youth Wind Ensemble.
“The ensemble is spectacular to work with,” Chybowski said. “Friends, colleagues, students.”
The Pittsburg Chamber Music Festival continues with the Summer Kicks Jazz Band Wednesday June 20, the Kaleidoscope of Styles concert Thursday June 21, the Eight Seasons concert featuring PSU professor of violin Raul Munguia Friday June 22, and the Corky Siegel Chamber Blues at the Colonial Fox Theatre Saturday June 23.