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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 10:22 am | Fair 58º


Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Winds to Commemorate Memorial Day

Thursday's concert will include tributes to the Columbine and 9/11 victims

UCSB’s stellar Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Maestro Paul Bambach and with graduate assistant Kathryn Woolf, will offer “A Memorial Day Celebration” at 8 p.m. Thursday in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall.

The program, thanks to Bambach’s deft avoidance of pamphleteering and musical platitudes, will indeed be one to provoke memories — some troubling, to be sure, but living memory is almost always troubling. We can honor the casualties of Bunker Hill or Antietam or Chateau-Thierry — or even all but a handful of the 1,100 sailors entombed in the hull of the Arizona — with melancholy equanimity, having never seen their smiles or heard their laughter.

The recently dead, on the other hand, tend to remind us of something unresolved, some kind of unfinished business. That hurts. Yet that, as Bambach seems to understand, is what Memorial Day is really all about.

To this end, the Wind Ensemble will perform Frank Ticheli’s An American Elegy, which commemorates those killed in the shooting massacre at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, and Eric Ewazen’s Hymn for the Lost and the Living, a lament for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The concert also will draw on the rich, undercelebrated American Band Music tradition, with works by Roger Cichy (Divertimento for Winds and Percussion), John Moss (arrangements of four of Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs), Sean O’Loughlin (Ricochet) and Robert Washburn (Concertino for Brass and Woodwind Quintets) focusing attention on several graduating seniors. All of the composers mentioned above are Americans, all save Copland are alive, and all write music that is strong, vibrant, accessible and beautifully evocative.

Admission is $15, or $7 for students, with tickets sold at the door. For more information, click here or call 805.893.7001.

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

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