Dana Chamber Winds and Wind Ensemble Present: Winter Dusk

By Amanda Leherd

Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music’s Chamber Winds and Wind Ensemble present their last concert of the fall season, Winter Dusk. It takes place Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Stambaugh Auditorium.

YSU’s Chamber Winds is a group of performers who are a one-on-a-part ensemble, said Stephen Gage, director of bands at YSU.

Gage said Chamber Winds uses several instruments to present “Mack The Knife” as one of its movement.

The Wind Ensemble is closely related to the symphonic bands that students participated in while in high school. At the university level, music schools like Dana have a wind ensemble.

“The YSU Wind Ensemble consists of 52 students from the YSU Dana School of Music, and it is a relatively specific set of instrumentalists who rehearse four days per week for 50 minutes,” Gage said. “The title ‘wind ensemble’ often refers to a one-on-a-part concert or symphonic band, which are usually larger groups.”

The title and theme of Winter Dusk represent the season just before winter. The Wind Ensemble, who takes the stage last, will close the concert with Alfred Reed’s powerful “Russian Christmas Music.”

According to Gabriella Sandy, YSU Wind Ensemble member, “Russian Christmas Music,” is her favorite piece. Most of the piece is based on an ancient Russian Christmas carol, as well as some original elements of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Students in chamber winds and wind ensemble started rehearsing for the final fall show after their concert on Oct. 20. The students are usually scheduled for five to six weeks of rehearsal between each concert program.

The concert, Winter Dusk, opens with the Dana Chamber Winds performing “Little Threepenny,” a classic work by Kurt Weill. After a brief intermission, the YSU Wind Ensemble will take the stage and begin its program with Camille Saint-Saens’ March “Militaire Francaise.” The concert continues with Steven Bryant’s “Dusk,” that captures the reflective calm of dusk. The last piece is John Mackey’s “Harvest: Concerto for Trombone,” where professor John Sebastian Vera will perform a solo on the trombone.

“The work I will be performing is John Mackey’s ‘Harvest: Concerto for Trombone.’ It’s written in three contiguous movements and is about 18 minutes long,” Vera said. “The piece is about Dionysus, who was a god of the harvest. In the winter life dies so it can be born again, much how this work goes through a tumultuous and climactic opening and finishes with a hopeful and joyful closing.”

“It is always reassuring to have a large and enthusiastic audience to perform for at any live music event. Thus, bring your friends and family and share in this great music-making program with 75 of YSU’s finest instrumentalists,” Gage said. “We are incredibly proud of our students and our music ensembles, and I am certain that this will be a positive and memorable evening.”

People attending the show can participate in a live tweet to share their immediate thoughts about what they hear. Tickets are available the night of the concert and are six dollars, tickets for senior citizens and children are five dollars and free for anyone with a valid YSU ID.