Gustavus bands’ early spring concert

Colleen Coleman-

On Saturday, March 9th, at 1:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Wind Symphony, and Chamber Winds will be presenting their Early Spring Band Concert. The performance will feature many types of music, with film score features from How to Train Your Dragon as well as Far and Away, a piece based on a Thai lullaby, a driving tuba concerto, and many more.

Gustavus musicians have been hard at work since the start of the spring semester and are excited about the music they are sharing this weekend. “John Powell’s How to Train Your Dragon piece is obviously incredible. It’s one of my favorite film scores of all time and I’ve truly enjoyed playing it,” Junior music minor and percussionist in GWO, Grace Kinkeade, said. Having recently returned from their Las Vegas tour over this past J-Term, the GWO musicians are excited to share their new musical selections with the Gustavus community back in Minnesota. “The music we’re doing right now is really fun, I just love playing film scores. I love the fun energy from the music and the people during this semester,” Junior Instrumental Music Education major and GWO clarinet player, Cole Nolte, said.

“I love all of the music we’re doing for this concert, and I can’t even think about picking a favorite! There are two film scores and an amazing tuba concerto – I don’t know how to choose a favorite,” Sophomore Instrumental Music Education major and GWO saxophonist, Chloe Lee said. Gary Ziek’s ‘Concerto for Tuba and Wind Ensemble’ works to reflect the various sides of the tuba’s abilities, with its third movement ‘Riot!’ focusing on driving rhythms and a style that Ziek describes as a “blues rondo.”

GWS recently had the opportunity to expand more on the story behind one of the pieces they are performing, “Rising Light” by Thai-American composer Kevin Charoensri. The ensemble recently met with Charoensri online to further understand the meaning behind the piece, inspired by his mother’s experiences around fearing the violent attacks against Asian-American women recently. “Asian Americans are raised to stay quiet and be non-confrontational about issues, and I found it hard to break my shell in writing. I was scared to write moments too big, and often thought about scrapping the piece,” Charoensri said in the program notes of the piece.

Students got the opportunity to ask Charoensri questions about being a young composer, his inspiration around composing specific sections of the piece, and his thought process behind composing in general. “Getting to hear from Kevin was really influential,” First-year Vocal Music Education major and GWS flutist Abi Biermann said. “Hearing how he tackles composing a piece so monumental as ‘Rising Light’ was really interesting and I enjoyed hearing what experiences the music represents. I’m looking forward to being able to perform it this weekend,” Biermann stated.

Come hear a variety of musical styles this Saturday in Christ Chapel! The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Gustavus Wind Symphony, and Chamber Winds are excited to transport listeners into many different worlds, and share their hard work from over the past few weeks. Hear music from not only popular films, but with roots from all around the world. “Music allows me and many others to express ourselves in a unique way, I can’t wait to show all of our unique repertoire to our audience!” First-year Instrumental Music Education major and GWS oboist, Forrest Olson said.

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