University of North Texas Wind Symphony

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On Thursday November 7th, the University of North Texas Wind Symphony performed a fantastic concert that incorporated pieces from many different styles and cultures. The ensemble’s ability to express the emotions and distinctive settings of each piece far exceeds its high reputation.
The band began with Anthony O’Toole’s “Fanfare to ‘The Hammer’” (2013). The piece is a tribute to Hank Aaron or “The Hammer” an African American, who despite living in the time of segregation and racial uproar, rose up to become a professional baseball player. This heroic and inspirational story is certainly exhibited throughout the piece. It begins with a blast of excitement and grander. The fanfare motive is carried out in the high brass through most of the piece, highlighting the powerful and motivating tradition that baseball has created. Suddenly, a particularly odd and interesting clarinet solo rises above the rest of the ensemble. The noticeably dissimilar melody created by the clarinet creates slight tension when pitted against the fanfare melody of the high brass; however, the clarinet is slowly joined by other woodwinds until they finally come together with the brass in a beautiful harmony that pushes forward to the valiant end. The solo demonstrates the bravery Hank Aaron displayed in attaining his dreams; even though it was not initially accepted, Aaron continued to persevere and paved the way for racial equality in the world of professional sports.
The next piece, Oliver Messiaen’s “Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum”, was a multi-movement piece proving to be the highlight of the performance. Before the piece began, a guest speaker spoke about the meaning behind the piece and why it was selected. Originally written for the French g...

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... is extremely dark. The solo carries out throughout the movement and is accompanied by wave like clarinet motion and soft flute trills. The soloist tone of this movement highlights how a long solo in a single instrument can exhibit a very wide arrangement of styles, melodies, and harmonies.
The final movement “Tempo du Buleria” starts with a conga groove and percussive clapping. This fast paced Latin grove is accompanied by full brass melodies. Quickly a soft transition to a lyrical flute solo comes out of nowhere. The movement then ends with a klezmer jazz and flute run. The dramatic differences between the melodies in the final movement highlight the harmony that exists between the different genres of classical and jazz repertoire.
Overall the Wind Symphony Concert displayed a wide arranged of styles and emotion that extremely well executive by the ensemble.

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