The 72-member Wind Symphony — unique in that none of its members are music majors, but rather are students studying in such fields as engineering and accounting – will perform Feb. 22 at a Carnegie Hall benefit concert that is part of the 2008 Choice Music Events Honors Concert Series.
Musical groups are invited to participate in the New York series only after arduous auditions, notes Texas A&M Director of Bands Timothy Rhea.
He and the Aggie musicians hope the 12th Man — current and former students — and friends of the university will pack Carnegie Hall for the special performance.
Tickets are available on campus at the Memorial Student Center Box Office (phone: 979- 845-1234) or via a national toll-free number: 888-890-5667.
The Association of Former Students’ tour group, the Traveling Aggies, is planning a trip to New York in conjunction with the concert. Alumni representatives say former students, parents and friends of the university are welcome to participate in the Traveling Aggies program. For more information about the New York trip, go to: http://www.windsortravel.com/aggies/.
Playing at Carnegie Hall is a rare opportunity, Rhea observes, but he notes the university’s band ensembles have a history of traveling afar for showcase performances. For example, he points out the Wind Symphony has performed in Germany, Ireland, Austria, the Czech Republic and England in recent years, making it one of the most traveled collegiate units in the nation.
Also, in addition to regular tours throughout Texas, the ensemble has performed at the Texas Music Educators Association convention, the National College Band Directors Association convention and the American Bandmasters Association convention.
Although Texas A&M has a fast-rising music program within the College of Liberal Arts, all of the Wind Symphony members became accomplished musicians outside of their college curriculums and have “studiously polished their skills” while attending to their arduous academic commitments, Rhea emphasizes. He says seven of them are in the 330-member Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, which he also directs.
“These are amazing young men and women,” he adds. “I’m delighted that they have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall, and all of us are hoping that New Yorkers, Texans — especially Aggies — and others will be on hand for what will undoubtedly be a memorable event.”
The Wind Symphony will be conducted at the Carnegie concert by Rhea with Travis Almany, associate director of bands at Texas A&M, acting as guest conductor. They will perform works by Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Holst, George Gershwin, Donald Grantham, Percy Grainger, Frank Ticheli, William Himes and John P. Sousa.
Performing as a bass trombonist with the symphony will be David Wilborn, associate professor of music at Texas A&M, who has composed several award-winning new works for brass instruments and is often heard on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. The symphony will premiere one of Wilborn’s works at the concert.
Another Texas A&M music professor, pianist Kathryn Woodard, will perform with the wind symphony. She has performed extensively in Asia and was the first pianist to perform the music of Henry Cowell, John Cage and Fredric Rzewski.
For more information about the concert and/or ticket sales, visit http://studentaffairs.tamu.edu/carnegie or contact Lee Walter Associates at 954-491-1890 or LWConcerts@aol.com.
Contact: Timothy B. Rhea at (979) 845-3529, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tura King at (979) 845-4670, email email@example.com.