KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The School of Music at Western Michigan University will present the 49th annual Spring Conference on Wind and Percussion Music at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in WMU's Miller Auditorium and Dalton Center Recital Hall. Spring Conference is a daylong event presented each year to "promote the performance, understanding, and composition of quality wind and percussion music." The event is free and is open to music educators, high school and college students, parents, and anyone interested in band music.
Each year the festival focuses on a guest composer/conductor whose works are featured during the conference. This year’s featured artist is composer Steven Bryant. The day's activities will include two afternoon band concerts presented by the East Lansing High School Symphonic Band conducted by David J. Larzelere at 1 p.m. and the Grandville High School Symphonic Winds conducted by Eduardo Garcia at 2:45 p.m., both in Miller Auditorium.
The conference will conclude with an evening performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Auditorium. The concert will feature performances by the WMU Symphonic Band, conducted by Scott Boerma and featuring New York Philharmonic principal trombone Joseph Alessi as soloist, and the 120-member Steven Bryant All-Star Band. Students from over 60 Michigan high schools were nominated by their band directors for the honor of performing in this band. Traditionally, over 90 percent of this ensemble's membership is awarded to musicians who hold first-chair-player positions in their own high school bands.
The music of Steven Bryant is chiseled in its structure and intent, fusing lyricism, dissonance, silence, technology and humor into lean, skillfully crafted works that enthrall listeners and performers alike. His seminal work "Ecstatic Waters," for wind ensemble and electronics, has become one of the most performed works of its kind in the world, receiving over 250 performances in its first five seasons. Recently, the orchestral version was premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra. The son of a professional trumpeter and music educator, Bryant strongly values music education, and his creative output includes a number of works for young and developing musicians.
For more information about the concert, visit wmich.edu/music or call (269) 387-4667.
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