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MU Wind Ensemble Concert to be based around Bach

By Kara Pietrowski, For The Miami Student

The Miami University Wind Ensemble (MUWE) will be performing their first concert of the semester at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Hall Auditorium. The free concert will feature music transcribed and inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Open to all majors to audition, the MUWE is comprised of roughly 50 musicians, including wind and percussion instruments, to create a unique dynamic and sound between the players.

"The diversity [of the ensemble] makes for many different and interesting combinations," MUWE conductor Gary Speck said.

"I think this concert will have a unique atmosphere compared to other concerts," senior music performance and marketing double major Emily Stibich said.

French horn player, Stibich, has been in the ensemble all four years of her college career and describes it as a very unique experience.

"It's 50 musicians pouring out their soul to each other through music," Stibich said. "It's incredible."

The students have been preparing music transcribed and inspired by J.S. Bach since the beginning of the semester.

"Some of his music was originally for organ and had to be transcribed for a whole ensemble, and it might be hard to believe but it sounds good," sophomore alto saxophone player Erin Williams said.

Bach is very influential figure in the music world and created many of the conventions that became the fundamentals for music composition, according to Speck.

"Bach is one of the greatest composers in history," Speck said. "I wanted the students to have an encounter with Bach, and it developed into doing Bach for the concert."

The MUWE musicians share Speck's enthusiasm for the program.

"We were all very excited," Williams said. "Bach is one of the most prolific composers ever, so playing his works is very exciting."

Bach is very accessible and enjoyable for people without a music background, said Speck. Some of the songs performed will include "Toccata Aria Fugue" originally written by Bach and arranged Thomas Knox, "J.S. Dances" by Donald Grantham, and "Bach's Fugue a la Gigue" by Gustav Holst.

"Music is such an essential part of any culture, and Bach is so important for music today, even pop music might not be what it is today without Bach, so it would be great for people to come and gain an appreciation for his work," Williams said.

MUWE's second concert of the semester will be Tuesday, May 5 and will feature two premieres from Alvin Singleton and James Syler.