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Arts & Entertainment Presented by Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts


Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Wind Ensemble Concert to Look Back on 21st Century

By Gerald Carpenter, Noozhawk Contributing Writer |

The vital and accomplished University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of its founder and guiding light, Paul Bambach (Adriane Hill, graduate assistant) will perform their annual Winter Concert — called “21st Century Masters” — at 8 p.m. Thursday in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall at the UCSB Music Building.

By now, we can trust Bambach not to make us suffer for our art. The music on this program is all very attractive and listenable, even if the composers involved are serious and intelligent musicians.

They each seem to have come separately to the conclusion that if you can write music that pleases audiences, you'd be crazy not to do it, so long as the composition is also well and sincerely made.

We will be hearing: Resurgences, Opus 162 by Robert Sheldon (born in 1954); A Childhood Remembered (2013) by Rossano Galante (born in 1967); Dance Rhythms for Band, Opus 58a (1955) by Wallingford Riegger (1885-1961); Flowing Pens from Concord (2009) by Roger Cichy (born in 1956); and the Symphony for Winds No. 2 by Frank Ticheli (born in 1958).

If Ticheli remains today the most-performed band composer (always excepting John Philip Sousa), then Sheldon has to be a close second. His Resurgences makes a tuneful and engaging come-all-ye. Galante, who has a thriving career as a film composer, remembers his childhood as a having a jaunty, Virgil Thomson-like score.

Flowing Pens from Concord was commissioned by the Concord Band of Concord, Mass., for its 50th anniversary concert. It is divided into four sections, each devoted to a famous book that "flowed" from the pens of Concord authors: I. Mosses from an Old Manse (Nathaniel Hawthorne); II. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott); III. Walden (Henry David Thoreau); IV. Nature (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Now, obviously, Riegger is not a 21st-century composer, though he is certainly a master, and his music can be quite aggressively "modern" — i.e. harsh — but the Dance Rhythms, as you will hear, fit very comfortably in with all the sweet, post-modern melody-making on the rest of the program.

Tickets to this concert are $15 for general admission and $7 for students, and they are available at the door. Please call 805.893.7001 for further information.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own

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