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Gerald Carpenter: Change of Course for UCSB Wind Ensemble

Thursday's program will consist mostly of transcribed arrangements

The next concert by the UCSB Wind Ensemble, conducted by Paul Bambach, will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall in the Music Building.

The UCSB Wind Ensemble with perform composer-conductor Eric Whitacre's October.
The UCSB Wind Ensemble with perform composer-conductor Eric Whitacre’s October.

Bambach, with graduate assistant Kelley Coker, has devised a program that consists mostly of works that were originally scored for other instrumental ensembles and have been transcribed for winds.

These works include Keith Wilson’s 1945 arrangement of the “March” from the Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber and Paul Hindemith; H. Robert Reynolds’ arrangement of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Folk Dances; and Charles Cushing’s transcription/conflation of two works by Béla Bartók — the Petite Suite for Piano (originally for violin duo) and selections from his famous solo piano work, Mikrokosmos — which put together make a new work: Bartók’s Petite Suite for Concert Band.

The ensemble will also play Václav Nelhýbel’s Prelude and Fugue (1966), Ron Nelson’s Courtly Airs and Dances (1995) and October (2000) by the very popular Eric Whitacre.

Nelhýbel (1919-96) was born in the then newly created Czechoslovakia and received most of his education in Prague. He relocated to Switzerland in 1942, where he spent the next 15 years, completing his education and teaching.

He came to the United States in 1957 and remained here for the rest of his life, teaching and composing. Most of his compositions are for wind instruments or concert band, and most were written for student performers. He was one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century.

Nelson (born in 1929 in Illinois) also has devoted himself to wind and band compositions, and to teaching. The title of Courtly Airs and Dances suggests that he has done a Respighi or a Warlock on some ancient dances, scoring them for winds.

Admission to the Wind Ensemble 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).

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