Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 3:13 am | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 

Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Wind Ensemble Heats Up with Winter Concert

Paul Bambach crafts a program for Thursday that's substantial and lighthearted

Frank Ticheli trails John Philip Sousa in the polls, but trumps him musically in every way.
Frank Ticheli trails John Philip Sousa in the polls, but trumps him musically in every way. (Charlie Grosso photo)

The UCSB Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Paul Bambach, with graduate assistant Kelley Coker, will offer its annual Winter Concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3, in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall in the Music Building.

With his usual ingenuity, Bambach has fashioned a program that manages to be substantial and lighthearted at the same time. The winds will play the Symphony No. 2 for Concert Band (2003) by Frank Ticheli, the Suite No. 1 in Eb-Major, Opus 28a (1909) by Gustav Holst, Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger (arranged by Frederick Fennell) and Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion (S. 1000) by the elusive P.D.Q. Bach (tastefully adopted to the modern Concert Band by professor Peter Schickele).

It says a lot about the intransigent musical conservatism of this country that John Philip Sousa is still the most performed composer of music for concert band, but at least the great Ticheli, a professor of composition at USC, usually comes in second in most polls.

His Symphony No. 2 proves — to my satisfaction, at least — that wind ensembles are good for more than military parades and half-time entertainments. Ticheli says, “The symphony’s three movements refer to celestial light — shooting stars, the moon and the sun.” My favorite movement is the mysterious and lyrical second, of which the composer says: “Dreams Under a New Moon depicts a kind of journey of the soul as represented by a series of dreams.”

Fennell, the godfather of American wind ensembles, calls Holst’s gorgeous Suite No. 1 “the first significant work for wind band written in the 20th century.”

The Australian-born Grainger, pianist and composer, was a genuine eccentric in most of the things he did, from designing his own clothes to running through the streets to a concert, then leaping onto the stage at the last minute because he liked to play while exhausted. He seems to have been influenced more by Grieg than Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams, though his lovely compositions are full of British folk melodies.

Bach’s music speaks for itself — it must, in fact, because I wouldn’t know where to start.

Admission to the UCSB winds concert is $15 for the general public and $7 for students, with tickets sold at the door.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >