Fredonia Wind Ensemble to present eclectic concert

The Fredonia Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Paula Holcomb, will escort music enthusiasts on an exhilarating journey on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m., in King Concert Hall at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

“Short Ride on a Fast Machine,” John Adams’ American classic of his ride on a fast machine through the hills of California, will open the concert. Jazz is the next destination, with “Rubies,” John Harbison’s version of the Thelonious Monk ballad “Ruby, May Dear.” Selections to follow include wind band classics “Theme and Variations, Op. 43a,” by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, and “Irish Tune from County Derry,” by Percy Grainger, an Austrian-born American composer and pianist.

Concluding the performance will be “And the Mountains Rising Nowhere,” a stunning exploration of wind band timbres by Pulitzer Prize winning American composer Joseph Schwantner. As an added treat, members of the audience will be given five pages of the actual score, so they can follow along as the wind ensemble gives a brief demonstration before performing the piece in its entirety.

“It’s a very unusual score because it has blank space; there’s no designation indicating where the rests (pauses) are, just blank space,” Dr. Holcomb explained.

“The visual contrast of white space and black notes truly depicts the wind, brass, percussion and crystal timbres Schwantner portrays,” she added. “Discover the timbres of crystals, water gongs, and bowed crotales. Learn how to play a wine glass!”

The concert is free and open to the public.