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The Pittsburg State University Wind Ensemble performs “Irrational Joy” during the symphonic band and wind ensemble concert held on Feb. 17. Composer Steven Bryant created the piece in 2017. Dominic Santiago

PSU wind ensemble performs before KMEA

The Pittsburg State University Wind Ensemble performs “Irrational Joy” during the symphonic band and wind ensemble concert held on Feb. 17. Composer Steven Bryant created the piece in 2017. Dominic Santiago

The Pittsburg State University wind ensemble performed a number of musical pieces during their performance at the Bicknell Center on Feb. 17. The concert was the first performance from the wind ensemble for the spring semester. It featured six pieces that ranged in musical style and emotions.

The music performed included “Irrational Joy” by Steven Bryant, “Riften Wed” by Julie Giroux, “Variations on ‘America’” by Charles Ives, “Points of Departure” by Roshanne Etezady, “They’ll Hear Revolution” by Ella McElroy, and “Libertadores” by Oscar Navarro.

The event started with a brief performance by the PSU symphonic band. The group performed two pieces including “Keltic Variations” by Samuel R. Hazo and “Three Klezmer Miniatures” by Philip Spark.

The wind ensemble performed some pieces that will be later used in an in-service workshop at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita, Kansas. The event on Feb. 24 will feature the wind ensemble’s performance at 8:00 pm.

The PSU wind ensemble’s performance on Feb. 17 featured many soloists and special guests. “Riften Wed” by Julie Giroux featured Dr. Jeremy Chesman, an instructor at Missouri State University, playing the harp in a solo performance. The piece by Giroux was created as part of the official music of the hit video game “Skyrim”.

Dr. Lydia Bechtel, assistant instructional professor at PSU and vocal soloist, performed during “Points of Departure” by Roshanne Etezady. The composer wrote the piece to take place from the point of view of a teenage girl preparing for her driving test.

Dr. Andrew D. Chybowski, assistant professor and director of the wind ensemble, took a moment to highlight Ella McElroy, junior at Fort Scott High School and composer. McElroy created “They’ll Hear Revolution” and submitted it to the KMEA Composition Competition.

In a program note, McElroy states, “They’ll Hear Revolution’ takes a musical spin on the Battle of Trenton… ‘They’ll Hear Revolution’ is an aptly titled journey through one of the American Revolution’s most notable battles.”

The piece is one of three that McElroy has created in her career. She was excited to have her music be played by a collegiate wind ensemble.

“It was honestly insane; I came up here a couple of days ago and I kind of got the opportunity to talk to everybody in the band about my piece,” said Ella McElroy, junior at Fort Scott High School. “It has not even registered entirely how cool this is.”

The concert concluded with the playing of “Libertadores” by Oscar Navarro. The piece featured marching snare drummers as part of a tribute to Latin American revolutionary leaders. Navarro is known for giving his compositions emotion and excitement.

The Pittsburg State University department of music has many events planned for the remaining weeks of the spring semester. On March 4, PSU will host a Jazz Festival open to area colleges and high schools. The day will conclude with a concert starting a 7:30 pm.

The wind ensemble will perform on April 21 at the Bicknell Center. The event is free and open to the public to attend. More information can be found at pittstate.edu/music

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