UNH Wind Symphony to Perform at MENC Eastern Division Conference

This past fall, the University of New Hampshire Wind Symphony, under the direction of Andrew Boysen, was selected to perform at the MENC Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The Wind Symphony last performed at the Eastern Division Conference when it was held in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2003.

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, is one of the largest arts education organizations in the world, serving active and retired music educators, as well as students in teacher education programs. The Eastern Division, serving all of New England down through Maryland and including the European Union, holds a conference every other year. Many groups apply to perform, but only a select few are given the honor. This performance will be an important recruiting opportunity for the Department of Music, and will help gain exposure on a much larger level than we typically have. It will also be an important opportunity for the many Music Education majors within the ensemble, as they will have the opportunity to attend a good portion of the conference, gaining insight and materials and possibly networking with future colleagues and employers.

Dr. Boysen has selected repertoire that is a bit "outside the box" for this performance. He wants to give the audience something they wouldn't normally see or hear at a typical wind ensemble concert. The program will consist of:

  • Fanfare for the Great Hall, by Jack Stamp (featuring brass performing in the hall)
  • Ecstatic Waters, by Steven Bryant (with extensive use of electronics)
  • Twilight of the Gods, by Andrew Boysen, Jr.; visual art by Erik Evensen (Evensen's animated movie based on Norse myths will be shown while the ensemble performs the score Boysen wrote for it)

In addition to performing this concert, the Wind Symphony will also be the demonstration ensemble for two clinics given by composer Robert Sheldon. Preparation for all of this, on top of another recording project for the Neil A. Kjos Music Company (the ensemble, along with the UNH Symphonic Band, has been featured on many of their recent promotional recordings), means the students have a LOT of music to learn this semester. They are sure to meet this challenge with great success.

Here is an outline of the itinerary:

Thursday, March 31st

  • Early morning: Depart from UNH
  • Early afternoon: Perform a concert for student musicians at (tentatively) Daniel Hand High School and Polson Middle School in Madison, Connecticut.
  • Evening: Arrive in Baltimore

Friday, April 1st

  • Morning/early afternoon: Students attend clinics and performances at the conference before the dress rehearsal in the afternoon.
  • 3:45 PM: UNH Performance!
  • Evening: Time to explore the Inner Harbor and/or to attend a performance by Take 6.

Saturday, April 2nd

  • 8:00 AM: "The Inside Story: A Composer's Perspective on his Music" clinic by Robert Sheldon (the Wind Symphony is the demonstration group).
  • 9:15 AM: "Writing Music for Winds and Percussion" clinic by Robert Sheldon (the Wind Symphony is the demonstration group).
  • Afternoon: The group will head to Washington D.C. for some free time to explore the nation's capital before departing for Durham.
  • Midnight: or later! Everyone returns to campus after an educational and fulfilling trip!

If you will be attending the conference, please come to the performance and say "hello" afterward!