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USC Wind Ensemble 2014-15 Concert Season

The premier wind band at the University of South Carolina, directed by Scott Weiss, is among the finest of its kind in the nation and presents classic wind music, new music and world premieres by exciting contemporary composers including USC faculty Fang Man and Jesse Jones. The six free concerts take place at the Koger Center for the Arts and the brand new Darla Moore School Performance Hall.

Monday, October 6, 7:30 p.m.

Koger Center for the Arts – FREE
Scott Weiss, conductor
Scott Herring and John Parks, timpani soloists

The season opens with Bach's famous "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" and showcases the technical and sonic virtuosity of the USC Wind Ensemble. "Through the Veil" by composer and USC School of Music faculty member, Jesse Jones, is scored for wind ensemble and four coloratura sopranos. The work represents the progress of an eternal soul from a pre-mortal existence to its incarnation in a body and the subsequent death of the body, allowing the soul to rejoin the cosmos. Timpanists Scott Herring and John Parks join the ensemble for the premiere of the wind ensemble version of "Dynasty: Double Timpani Concerto" by composer James Oliverio.

Monday, November 3, 7:30 p.m.

Koger Center for the Arts – FREE
Scott Weiss, conductor
Steve Meyer and Paul DeCinque, guest conductors

The USC Wind Ensemble presents an evening of electro-acoustic music that features works for electronics and wind ensemble by Edgar Varese, Mason Bates and Steven Bryant. A rare performance of Edgar Varese's landmark work, "Deserts," composed for winds and electronic tape, alternates sections of acoustic music with pre-recorded organized sounds. Now considered to be one of the most important pieces of avant-garde music, it was a musical scandal in Paris when audience members rioted during the 1954 premiere in response to what they were hearing. "Mothership" by Mason Bates, one of the world's leaders in electro-acoustic music, features a variety of soloists performing from different areas around the stage. The concert concludes with Steven Bryant's "Ecstatic Waters," a juxtaposition of contradictory musical and extra-musical elements and an attempt to resolve them. The five connected movements hint at a narrative that touches upon naiveté, divination, fanaticism, post-human possibilities, anarchy, order and the Jungian collective unconscious.

Thursday, December 4, 7:30 p.m.

Moore School Performance Hall – FREE
Scott Weiss, conductor
Jay Sconyers, guest conductor
Phillip Bush and Lynn Kompass, piano soloists
Jennifer Parker Harley, flute soloist

The ensemble's first performance in the new Moore School Performance Hall opens with the second movement of Symphony No. 8 by Ralph Vaughan Williams, the "Scherzo alla Marcia," a witty take on the traditional march. A concerto for flute, "Ghosts and Gargoyles" by Henry Brant, features Jennifer Parker-Harley as flute soloist along with eight flutists positioned throughout audience. Pianist Lynn Kompass and percussionists Scott Herring and Gordon Hicken are featured in "Concertino for Piano, Percussion and Winds" by composer and USC School of Music faculty member Fang Man. The program concludes with Olivier Messiaen's "Colors of the Celestial City," featuring pianist Philip Bush. Messiaen was a synesthete – he heard colors in music. This work combines his association of colors as musical sounds with his fascination with birds and his deeply held faith to produce one of the great works of the later half of the 20th century.

Friday, February 13, 7:30 p.m.

Koger Center for the Arts – FREE
The ensemble's first performance of 2015, in conjunction with the USC Band Clinic, features USC's new professor of horn, JD Shaw. Shaw, a founding member of the Boston Brass, comes to USC following tenures at the University of New Mexico and the University of Miami. He will be performing "The Glass Bead Game" by Jim Beckel. The remainder of the program will include classic music for concert band.

Friday, March 20, 7:30 p.m.

Louis Andriessen's "De Staat" - Southern Exposure New Music Concert
Moore School Performance Hall – FREE
The USC Wind Ensemble returns to the Performance Hall in the new Darla Moore School as part of the Southern Exposure New Music Concert Series. Joining with members of the university's music faculty, the USC Wind Ensemble presents a performance of Louis Andriessen's seldom-heard work "De Staat." One of the masterpieces of European minimalism, "De Staat" is a modern satire of Plato's "Republic" and explores Plato's association with music and its ability to move the masses. This work will be paired with Stephen Hartke's "Sons of Noah," a cantata for solo soprano, four flutes, four bassoons, and four guitars based on Machado de Assisi's political satire "Na arca."

Monday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.

Koger Center for the Arts – FREE
Clifford Leaman, saxophone soloist
The season concludes with world premieres by two of today's most recognized American composers, Joseph Schwantner and William Bolcom. Commissioned by the USC Wind Ensemble for its upcoming CD release on the Naxos label, both works will be major concerti. Schwantner's "Concerto for Wind Orchestra" will highlight both the virtuosity and timbral versatility of the wind ensemble. Bolcom's "Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Wind Orchestra" will feature soloist Clifford Leaman.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.