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Wind Ensemble Performs Feb. 16

gora.jpgBOONE — The Appalachian State University Wind Ensemble will perform on Friday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. in a free concert in Farthing Auditorium. The concert is in conjunction with the 51st Annual Northwest North Carolina All-District Band Clinic, hosted each year by the School of Music’s Department of Bands.The concert begins with “Ruffle and Flourish,” a fanfare for brass and percussion by American composer David Gillingham. Paul Hindemith’s “March” from “Symphonic Metamorphosis” follows. Texas composer Donald Grantham’s “Southern Harmony” is based on a collection of sacred and secular tunes assembled and published in 1835 by William “Singin’ Billy” Walker. The collection was found in general stores, along with groceries and tobacco, and sold more than 600,000 copies before the Civil War.

Conductor William A. Gora will be the featured soloist with the wind ensemble. “This may seem a bit unconventional, but during my career in music, I have performed many solo recitals and have been a soloist with the university Jazz Ensemble and other performing groups, but I have never been a soloist with my own ensemble,” he said. Gora will perform “Carmen Fantasy,” a collection of songs from Bizet’s opera. Dr. Jay C. Jackson, assistant dean of the School of Music, will conduct this piece.

The concert finale will be fast and furious, featuring a “three-ring set” of circus marches. They are Henry Fillmore’s “Rolling Thunder,” Karl L. King’s “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite” and J.C. Heed’s “In Storm and Sunshine.”

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

Under the direction of Gora, now in his 25th year as director of bands at Appalachian, the wind ensemble has hosted residencies with many of America’s leading conductors, composers and performers. These include Pulitzer Prize winning composers Michael Colgrass and Karel Husa, conductor Frederick Fennell and world-renowned performers Allan Vizutti, Eddie Daniels and Vincent DiMartino.

The wind ensemble has performed at meetings of the College Band Directors National Association and the North Carolina Music Educators Association. It also regularly tours throughout the region.