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Last notes: two final music performances of the year

By Hannah Fierle, For The Miami Student

At 7:30 p.m. May 5, the Wind Ensemble will hold their final performance of the academic year in Hall Auditorium. There is no cost for admission to the concert.

The Wind Ensemble is directed by professor Gary A. Speck.

This concert in particular is notable because it features two Miami premieres as the result of the Commissioning Consortia, in which the ensemble recently partook. The two pieces performed will be "Where the Good Sounds Live," composed by Alvin Singleton and "Congo Square," composed by James Syler.

Singleton is to attend Tuesday's concert. The composer has a distinguished background, with his works being performed by dozens of symphony orchestras, most notably the Philadelphia Orchestra, and at countless international festivals. He has received several awards during his tenure as a composer, including the 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship.

James Syler's "Congo Square" was composed for drum quartet and wind ensemble, consistent with his style of jazz and world music. Syler currently works for the University of Texas at San Antonio and teaches private composition lessons.

Other pieces performed include "From A Dark Millennium," by Joseph Schwantner, "Adagio Music," by Nicholas Thorne and "Fiesta del Pacifico," by Roger Nixon.

The Symphony Band will hold their final performance of the year at 7:30 p.m May 8 in Hall Auditorium. This concert is also free.

The Symphony Band is directed by Stephen Lytle, associate director of bands at Miami.

The featured guest artist for the symphony band is Jim Ketch, a trumpet artist and professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His career includes both solo performances and guest appearances with a wide variety of other orchestras, bands and ensembles, focused in the genre of jazz. Ketch's pieces with the symphony band include, "My One and Only Love," and "Joy Spring."

"This concert reflects some of the most eclectic programming we've done," Lytle said. "It is American and it is 'Americana' as well as international. It spans three different centuries. It features jazz in a setting that is not typical. I'm very excited to share all of this with our audience."

Among the other pieces to be performed is "March" from "Symphonic Metamorphosis" by Paul Hindesmith. Hindesmith's fascinating story began in Germany where he was a composer, branded a degenerate by the Nazis and escaped to the United States prior to World War II. "March" is the final movement from the 1943 composition by fellow German composer, Carl Maria von Weber, who transformed the composition into an entirely new piece.

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The two other featured pieces include music from the acclaimed English theater duo, Gilbert and Sullivan and Henry Fillmore, Cincinnati's most famous bandleader of the early 20th century.