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A. Douglas Whitten directs the Symphonc Band in the Bicknell on Thursday, Feb. 20. The Symphonic Band is made up of primarily non-music majors and music majors playing their secondary intruments. Logan Wiley

PSU Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band Hosts Concert

Concerts showcase the work that musicians’ practice for. On Thursday Feb. 20, the PSU Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band hosted a concert. The event took place from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. The band was under the direction of PSU professor of music, Douglas Whitman and the ensemble was under the direction of assistant professor of music, Andrew D. Chybowski. 

“It’s really great to work with these fantastic musicians,” Chybowski said. “It just makes every day inspiring and challenging as well.”  

A tribute was presented for the late director David Maslanka. According to David Maslanka.com, Maslanka’s “music for winds” is very known. He has more than 150 works, 50 of those pieces were composed for wind ensemble, eight symphonies and seventeen concertos. Maslanka passed away in August 2017. 

“It’s a memorial for David, who is a fondly important composer to me” said Composer Roy D. Magnuson.  

Magnuson was one of Maslanka’s peers and worked with him overtime musically.  

“I was fortunate to record a lot of his music as an undergrad,” Magnuson said. 

The “Softest Breath” is a song composed by Magnusson. As stated in the concert program, it was written “to memorialize the music and teaching of David Maslanka.” After playing “Softest Breath the Wind Ensemble played the first movement from “Symphony No. 9” by Maslanka.   

“His (Maslanka’s) point was that the immortality of it doesn’t matter,” Magnuson said. “What matters is what you make in the moment.”  

The wind ensemble also performed four other selections, they included; “Commando March” by Samuel Barber (edited by Anderson Collinsworth), “October” by Eric Whitacre, “Persis” by James L. Hosay and “Celtic Wedding” by Jeremy Bell.  

“My favorite song performed was October, because I played it with my high school orchestra,” said , sophomore in interior design Analysia Carrillo. “It was nice to hear the song from a different type of ensemble.”   

The Symphonic Band opened the concert by playing three selections. They played “Prelude and Fugue in B-Flat Major” composed by Joann Sebastian Bach. They also played “Spontaneous Beings” by Brian Balmages and lastly, they played “Excel (March)” by John M. Pasternack.  

“(Spontaneous Beings) is really interesting, it’s about a mythology from a Northern Native American tribe,” Whitman said. “It’s spontaneously came out of nature.”  

The Symphonic Band consists of undergraduate students with various majors.  

“The symphonic band is made up of mostly non-majors and some of them are playing secondary instruments,” Whitman said.  

The concert also had two guest conductors, Matthew Reimer and Eric Stark. Both of them are graduate conductors while they are obtaining their degrees.  

“While their doing a good job, they’re going to continue to learn and continue to be educators,” Whitman said. 

PSU’s Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble are preparing for their upcoming events, which include the Jazz Festival Concert, on Mar. 6, as well as Symphonic Band on Mar. 17, and the Wind Ensemble has an upcoming concert on Apr. 23.  

“I enjoy coming to music concerts, because it relaxes me from stressful times in school,” Carrillo said.

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