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School of Music Wind Ensemble Presents “Great Marches by Great Composers”

BOONE — The Appalachian State University School of Music’s Wind Ensemble will present “Great Marches by Great Composers” on Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. in the Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center.

Admission is free and the public is invited.

The 52-member ensemble, selected from musicians in the School of Music, has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s finest university wind bands.

Dr. William A. Gora directs the ensemble. Gora has been director of bands at Appalachian for 25 years.

“Most of us think about John Philip Sousa when the subject of bands and great marches are mentioned,” said Gora. “Yet marches were written by many who we consider the great orchestral composers throughout the history of music. Although most marches were written specifically for marching, such as parades or military pass-in-reviews, many were composed for performance in a concert setting.”

The program begins with Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Marsch in C Major (Zapfenstreich).” A military march for wind instruments, the piece was often described in the composer’s time as “Turkish” music.

Gioacchino Rossini’s “March No. 1″ from “Three Marches for the Marriage of the Duke of Orleans,” is witty and mischievously humorous. The exact origin of the piece is unknown, and most would suspect that Rossini would not have dared to compose the lighthearted works for an occasion as solemn and official as the duke’s marriage.

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “March from Symphony No. 6″ is a somber work and characteristic of his use of restless, seething developments, unexpected harmonic effects and cataclysmic climaxes. Tchaikovsky died within three weeks of the first performance of the piece.

The Wind Ensemble will then perform Paul Hindemith’s

“March” from “Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber.” The piece evolved from a ballet that was to be produced based on von Weber’s music. Keith Wilson transcribed the band version of the march in the 1960s.

Serge Prokofieff’s “March, Op. 99″ is next.

The last of six marches Prokofieff composed for military band, is the only march he wrote for performance in concert. His other marches were primarily functional.

The Wind Ensemble closes its performance with Samuel Barber’s “Commando March.”

This march was Barber’s contribution to the repertory of the Air Corps Band, of which he was a member during World War II.