In School of Music, Wind Symphony

The concert presents a variety of repertoire, from Bach to “Boomba”

The BYU Wind Symphony takes the stage on Nov. 1 for an evening of celebration and variety.

2018 marks the 100-year anniversaries of Leonard Bernstein’s birth and Claude Debussy’s death. The Wind Symphony will perform pieces from both composers—Bernstein’s “Candide Suite” and Debussy’s “Engulfed Cathedral”—in celebration of their significant contributions to the music world.

Photo by Nathalie van Empel

The band’s tribute to Debussy is part of a broader celebration within the School of Music to honor the composer across ensembles and concerts.

The Wind Symphony will also perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor” in a rare chance for audiences to hear the piece played by a wind band. Other pieces include more recent works by Percy Grainger, Cindy McTee and motion picture composer Michael Barry.  

“We’re pushing ourselves stylistically to go clear from Bach to Michael Barry’s ‘Boomba,’” said director Don Peterson. “These students seem to be up to the challenge. They’re working hard, and their attitude is great.”

“I’m excited for the repertoire we are playing for the upcoming Wind Symphony concert,” said clarinetist Jade Bliss. “Each piece of music is so different from the others, but they are all fun to play. I think the audience will enjoy the diversity of the concert.”

Photo by Nathalie van Empel

Bliss, a senior preparing for grad school, has her own moment to shine in Barry’s “Boomba.”  “The piece features the E-flat clarinet,” said Bliss. “I’m excited to be featured as the soloist because it pushes me outside of my comfort zone, seeing as this is my first time playing the E-flat clarinet. This piece makes you want to dance. I love it!”

Grainger’s “Children’s March” also holds special significance for many of the band members, as the Wind Symphony recently traveled to Grainger’s native Australia and spent time in the composer’s museum, which features a large collection of items and instruments from his life and career.

Bliss is grateful for the experiences she has had with the band over the years. “The BYU Wind Symphony is built up of such great musicians, and I am happy to be working with them and Dr. Peterson,” she said. “This has always been one of the highlights of my time here at BYU. I’m especially happy to be in this year’s group because we all seem to be listening well to each other and blending together beautifully despite how short of time we have known each other. I’m excited to see how much we can progress as a group.”

The BYU Wind Symphony will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center. Tickets are available in person at the BYU Ticket Office in the HFAC or Marriott Center, by phone at 801.422.2981 or online at  

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