NIC Wind Symphony offers free concert performance with Whitworth

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The North Idaho College Wind Symphony will perform a joint concert with special guests the Whitworth University Wind Symphony directed by Dr. Richard Strauch Wednesday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Schuler Performing Arts Center at Boswell Hall. This is a unique concert experience for students, community members, and educators. It is the first time that NIC and Whitworth University have presented a concert together.

This event will kick off the Whitworth University Wind Symphony’s Spring Tour, which will take them to various concert halls in the Northwest. As the college’s select auditioned wind and percussion ensemble, the Wind Symphony presents several concerts on and off campus throughout the year. The group is led by Strauch in his 21st year as director of the Whitworth University Wind Symphony where he also teaches courses in music history and applied low brass, and is an active clinician and adjudicator throughout the Northwest.

“NIC is pleased to welcome the musical style and repertoire that can only be played by the best and brightest,” said NIC Director of Bands Bryan Hannaford.

Whitworth will present a few contemporary wind repertoire thrillers like Ron Nelson’s Aspen Jubilee which will feature three soprano vocalists and Ghosts of the Old Year by James M. David, which is inspired by the poem of the same name by poet James Weldon Johnson. Strauch, trombonist, for the Spokane Symphony, will also include two standards of the wind band repertoire with Walking Tune by Percy Grainger and The Invincible Eagle by John Philip Sousa.

The NIC Wind Symphony, directed by Hannaford, will close the concert with a wide range of repertoire.

“Our portion of the concert will begin with a flourish of notes and rhythms meant to stir the kind of emotion one might experience during the running of a 50- or 100-yard dash,” Hannaford said. “Windsprints by Richard Saucedo will get your blood flowing in a technical race to the finish line.”

A modern wind ensemble performance would not be complete without a composition by film composer great John Williams, Hannaford said. The Wind Symphony will present The March from the motion picture 1941 that Williams once described as “a zanily patriotic march that upon hearing, we might be moved to tap our feet to an imaginary parade going by, and have fun doing it.”

NIC Wind Symphony’s principal flutist, Dori Nielsen, will be featured in Catherine McMichael’s Spirit of the Shannon, a concertante for flute and wind ensemble. City Trees by Michael Markowski is a beautiful ballad that is autobiographical. It’s his story of moving from Arizona to New York City at 25 years old. Markowski began to notice the trees that lined the streets of Brooklyn. These trees have learned how to brave the concrete jungle, and it gave him solace knowing that they had flourished in such a challenging environment. City Trees is a reflection of the bravery that it often takes to venture into new worlds, embrace other cultures, and lovingly encourage new ideas.

The concert will end with Arturo Marquez’s Danzon No. 2, transcribed by Oliver Nickel for wind ensemble. This staple of the contemporary Mexican music literature expresses and reflects on the dance style named danzón, which has its origins in Cuba; however, Marquez took his inspiration for this musical work from a visit to a ballroom in Veracruz.

This event is free and open to the public.

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