Wind band music has been everything from orchestral transcriptions to brand new modern works, and the PSU Wind Ensemble demonstrated just that.
The PSU Wind Ensemble gave their “Epic Espressivo” concert on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. The ensemble played pieces by Dmitri Shostakovich, Shelley Hanson, Omar Thomas, Arturo Marquez, Mark Camphouse, and Stephen Bryant. Andrew Chybowski, professor of music, and Matthew Reimer, graduate student in wind conducting, both conducted music in the concert.
“It’s (the concert) all about the history of wind band music,” Chybowski said. “Wind band music has gone one of two ways… We’ve got the beautiful orchestral-style music, that’s the ‘Espressivo…’ The other side is battle music… So, we’re bringing together those two elements for ‘Epic Espressivo…’
Students of any major are welcome in the wind ensemble by audition and the students have been preparing for the concert since August.
“I do a lot of practice and a lot of research preparing for a concert,” said Erica Baldwin, sophomore in music education and trumpet player in the wind ensemble. “I do the research on the composers and listen to other music they’ve written. Then, I go back and listen to the pieces we’re doing on the concert…”
The concert featured music written by living composers with the exception of Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture.”
“I think it’s so cool (the concert having music by living composers),” Baldwin said. “Dr. Chybowski picks music by living composers and composers that are writing music every single day that are not like your typical ‘Mozart’ or ‘Bach’ pieces… I think it’s so interesting to see where our music of today is going…”
The PSU Wind Ensemble has a history of performing new works as well as old ones, including “The Noise” by Kim Osberg on their concert last Spring. The piece was written specifically for the Wind Ensemble and the group will play another piece by Osberg in the Spring featuring PSU alumnus Will Koehler on trumpet.
“I actually think that this is some of the best concert (repertoire) that we’ve had just in terms of diversity,” said Tim Klinker, senior in mechanical engineering. “There’s been times where we’ve only played really out there contemporary (music)… I think this was a real good mix of styles and different periods…”
In addition to this concert, the department of music has several concerts in the near future. The weekend of Oct. 6 will host the PSU Trumpet Festival, featuring world-renowned faculty and guest artists from across the country. The Southeast Kansas Symphony at Pittsburg State will hold its opening concert on Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bicknell Center featuring operatic tenor and PSU alumnus Robert Dean Smith. On Oct. 17, the second concert in the Solo & Chamber Music Series (SCMS) will take place with saxophonist Otis Murphy. In November, the PSU Choirs will host their concert on Nov. 1, the third concert of the SCMS will take place on Nov. 22, and the PSU Wind Ensemble will give their next concert on Nov. 24.
“Anyone should come out because the music will be even better,” Baldwin said. “If I remember right, we’ll be playing ‘Russian Christmas’ so it’ll be a lot of fun…”