Musical tales: Symphonic Band’s winter concert Dec. 8

Featured songs ‘explore the association of music with storytelling’
​Jerry Poling | December 2, 2019

The University of Wisconsin-Stout Symphonic Band will present a winter concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center.

Tickets are $5 and are available online at the Service Center in the Memorial Student Center, 715-232-1122, and at the door.

Members of the clarinet section perform with the UW-Stout Symphonic Band. The concert will present music the Symphonic Band students have been studying this semester that explore the association of music with storytelling. Many of the selections are programmatic in nature and suggest a story or are inspired by a particular tale, said Professor Aaron M. Durst, band director.

The focal point of the performance will be Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” arranged by James Curnow. Composed in 1936, the work has a spoken story depicted by music. UW-Stout interim Provost Glendali Rodriguez will make a guest appearance as narrator.

Several other works will be included in the concert. “Rise of the Firebird” by Steven Reineke depicts the mythological creature that rises from the flames. “Phantasmagoria” by Jeremy Bell musically spins a shifting series of phantasms or illusions, perhaps similar to how a good storyteller would create visions in the mind’s eye. Zachary Docter’s “Variants On An English Sea Song” utilizes an old English folk song that is presented in a series of variations that depict a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas, Durst said.

A standard work of band literature, “Symphonic Dance #3 ‘Fiesta’” was composed by Clifton Williams in 1964 for the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. It is not associated with a particular story but is inspired by the spirit and excitement of the many Mexican celebrations held in San Antonio. The expression of the feelings experienced by one expectant father (who happens also to be a composer) on one wonderfully anxious and exciting day are depicted in “Joy Revisited” by Frank Ticheli.

The concert will conclude with one of the most famous marches ever composed, “Valdres,” by Johannes Hanssen, which is sometimes described as a Norwegian tone-poem in march time, Durst said.

This will be the final concert for four members of the band, who are graduating:

  • Flutist Hailey Hansen, of Eau Claire, psychology
  • Trombonist Doug Svoboda, of Farmington, Minn., computer science
  • Tubist William Le, of Mosinee, packaging, business administration
  • Percussionist Matthew Landin, of Waconia, psychology

Most of them have participated in multiple semesters while at UW-Stout.

The people in band are such a tight-knit group,” Le said. “It takes less than a couple of weeks to meet people that you are excited to see again, especially if you don't have any other classes together. Age, major and instrument doesn't matter.”

For some members, like Svoboda, their favorite experience in band is very simple: “Playing fun songs,” he said.

UW-Stout offers a minor in performing arts.



Members of the clarinet section perform with the UW-Stout Symphonic Band. 

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