SLIPPERY ROCK – Fall has arrived and with it the sounds of rustling leaves, whistling trees and … flutes, piccolos and oboes? Hey, autumn isn’t just for pumpkins and miniature candy anymore, it’s also for band concerts and the Slippery Rock University Symphonic Wind Ensemble has you covered.
The 50-plus student-musician group will host its first performance of the season at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 16 at Swope Music Hall.
Among the students participating is Abigail Metcalf, a sophomore bassoonist and music therapy major from Blandon.
The concert “promises a performance full of personality” according to Jonathan Helmick, assistant professor of music and ensemble conductor. “This concert is being themed after non-musical elements such as cartoons and caricatures,” Helmick said. “It was an idea that just came to me as I was programming. I was interested in exposing students to some atypical music and a diverse program. Packed with imagery, it allows the performers and audience alike to dive into their own imaginations as the concert progresses.
“We’ll feature pieces such as ‘La Mezquita de Cordoba’ by Julie Giroux, a composer of numerous pieces throughout band, orchestra and choir; ‘Cartoon’ by Paul Hart, a composer specializing in classical music; ‘Melody Shop’ by Karl King, a march music bandmaster and composer; ‘Dum Spiro Spero’ by composer/conductor Chris Pilsner; and ‘Magnolia Star’ by Steve Danyew, a composer, educator and arts administrator.”
The concert’s final piece will be “Fantasie Brillante” by conductor and composer Jean-Baptiste Arban and arranged by Donald Hunsberger. “(It’s) one of those flashy theme and variations that showcases the talents of a soloist. This particular piece is designed to shine. It fits with the theme of the concert as it really does capture a snapshot of the period in which it was written,” said Helmick
Helmick will be joined for the piece by the Music Department’s newest faculty member, Micah Holt, an instructor specializing in trumpet performance. “It will be a great opportunity for our students to work with him as he an outstanding musician,” said Helmick. “Furthermore, it will be a great way to formally welcome him to the SRU family.”
Admission is $10 for the general public and $8 for students and families.