The Eastman Wind Ensemble will travel to Chicago next month to perform at the Midwest Clinic, the world’s largest instrumental music conference. The Eastman School of Music ensemble is one of only a few wind ensembles from around the world invited to present a concert during the event, which runs from Dec. 15 to 19.
Despite its regional-sounding name, the Midwest Clinic is an international conference, drawing approximately 15,000 musicians from more than 30 countries. Participants, who range from educators and students to professional musicians, composers, and industry representatives, can take clinics, visit exhibitor booths, hear concerts presented by ensembles of all ages, and attend association meetings.
“The Midwest Clinic performance has generated great interest and excitement, and this promises to be another landmark event in the 57-year history of the Eastman Wind Ensemble,” said Conductor Mark Davis Scatterday, professor and chair of the Department of Conducting and Ensembles.
The Chicago appearance gives the ensemble the opportunity to embark on a Midwest “mini-tour.” The musicians will also perform in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium on Thursday, Dec. 17, the day before their appearance in the Midwest Clinic.
The Eastman Wind Ensemble has previously been invited to perform at the Midwest Clinic, appearing in 2000 under the direction of then-conductor Donald Hunsberger and the ensemble’s founder, Frederick Fennell. Hunsberger, who led the ensemble for 37 years beginning in 1965, is now Conductor Laureate of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and will join the musicians on their upcoming tour.
The group will be performing a diverse program that includes the world premiere of RIFFS by Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, featuring Eastman Professor of Percussion Michael Burritt. Other works include Aria della Battaglia by Baroque composer Andrea Gabrieli; “Homage to Rameau” from Images by Claude Debussy; Roberto Sierra’s Tumbao from Symphony No. 3 “La Salsa;” and David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4.
Rochester audiences will be able to preview the Eastman Wind Ensemble’s Midwest program at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The concert is free and open to the public.
Fennell first formulated the general concept of the wind ensemble at Eastman more than 50 years ago. Under his leadership, the Eastman Wind Ensemble became known as the pioneering force in the symphonic wind band movement in the United States and abroad. The ensemble has made major tours of North America, Japan, and Southeast Asia, and has premiered more than 210 new works.
Since its founding, the Eastman Wind Ensemble has been in the forefront elevating the wind repertory through recordings. Its album Carnaval, a collaboration with Wynton Marsalis, was nominated for a Grammy award in 1987. The ensemble’s latest recording, Manhattan Music with the Canadian Brass, was released in 2008 and was nominated for a Juno award, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ equivalent to the Grammys.
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Friday, December 11
Eastman Wind Ensemble Concert. World premiere of RIFFS by Jeff Tyzik; works by Roberto Sierra, David Maslanka, Claude Debussy, and Andrea Gabrieli. Mark Davis Scatterday and Donald Hunsberger, conductors; Michael Burritt, percussion.
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 26 Gibbs St.