Tuesday, June 7, 2011
By UST Music
This has been another active and enriching year for the UST Bands. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble premiered two new commissioned pieces this year, one by Israeli composer Boris Pigovat, and another by Australian composer Ralph Hultgren. Additionally, the SWE was involved with the Interfaith Art pARTners in a grand production of Light from the Yellow Star with author, artist and Holocaust survivor, Dr. Robert Fisch. This production was performed at the Ordway Center of the Performing Arts and featured the St. Paul City Ballet as collaborative artists on the event.
Of course, the UST Symphonic Wind Ensemble was again part of the popular UST Christmas Concert held at Orchestra Hall. This year’s production was filmed by TPT and was nationally televised across the United States on PBS stations.
The SWE also embarked on its fourth commercial CD recording, which will be volume four of the UST Commission Series. Each CD contains only repertoires commissioned by the University of St. Thomas, and the CDs have received highly acclaimed reviews. A feature story on the first three CDs can be found in the prestigious Fanfare Magazine. The SWE appears on the innova label and is distributed internationally by Naxos. The fourth CD, still in production, will be released internationally in November 2011. The CD will feature four works recently commissioned by UST: “Concertino” by Ralph Hultgren, “Light From the Yellow Star” by Boris Pigovat, “December Dance” by Andrew Boysen, Jr., and “Duende” by Luis Serrano Alárcon. “Duende” will be performed by the Grand Symphonic Winds, guest performers of UST on the CD. GSW is under the direction of Dr. Matthew George (UST Director of Bands) and is largely comprised of UST alumni, current faculty and staff.
The Symphonic Band, in addition to its regular performance schedule, was also engaged in reach out efforts, collaborating with two institutions. In December, the Symphonic Band enjoyed a daylong event with ensembles from the St. Agnes School, with the instrumental programs being led by UST alumna, Caroline Becker. The school students rehearsed and performed with UST Symphonic Band members for an enjoyable and memorable day’s event. In March, the Symphonic Band collaborated with Hamline University, presenting a joint concert. Students from both groups had the opportunity to hear each others’ rehearsals and concerts and shared a meal together in peer exchange.