MONROE, La. (ULM News Release) - The University of Louisiana Monroe College of Visual and Performing Art’s presents the ULM Wind Ensemble in its last public performance of the semester tonight (Wednesday), at 7:30 p.m. in Brown Theater. The performance is free and open to the public.
Conductors of the Wind Ensemble are Derle R. Long and Steven Pederson.
“The Wind Ensemble is the premier student instrumental performing ensemble in the School of Visual and Performing Arts,” Long said.
The program includes the March from Symphonic Metamorphosis by Paul Hindemith, Candide Suite by Leonard Bernstein, Symphonic Dance No 5 by James Clifton Williams, One Life Beautiful by Julie Giroux, and The Glory of the Yankee Navy by John Philip Sousa.
Monroe native Giroux is one of the most prolific and accomplished composers of her generation, according to Long. Giroux spent a large part of her career on the West Coast composing music for television and film, winning Emmy Awards along the way.
Her compositions for wind band are intelligent, creative, and impressionistic, often inspired by her own emotions and life experiences. Such is the case with One Life Beautiful, composed at the request of Ray Cramer and dedicated to his daughter Heather Cramer Reu. The title itself a double-entendre which in one sense refers to the person the work is dedicated to as in “one life” that was beautifully lived, and in the other sense an observation that having only one life is what makes life so sacred, tragic, and so very precious.
Of particular interest on this program is Williams’ Symphonic Dance No. 5, subtitled “The New Generation.” The piece is part of five symphonic dances Williams composed for the San Antonio Symphony and premiered by that ensemble in 1965 with the composer conducting.
Williams later transcribed Dances 2 (Maskers), 3 (Fiesta), and 5 for symphonic band, although 2 and 3 were the only ones published. Williams complained that No. 5 was his first piece rejected by a published in more than 15 years. In his words, the piece “is a wedding of symphonic music and old time big band jazz into one style. Part of it is supposed to be humorous; a facetious take-off on the big band style of the 1940’s, and then it has my usual big wind-up.”