The University’s Wind Ensemble had their first performance of the year on Sept. 28 at the Carroll County Performing Arts Center. The performance was titled “Out of the Ashes” and featured a piece that was arranged by one-and-only Dr. Josh Byrd, composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. This piece was an octet, titled “Op. 103b”, which featured four movements.
Rachel Breaux, 21 and flute player of the Wind Ensemble was very excited to be able to play a concert again. “This has been a very long time since we’ve done three concerts in one semester,” said Breaux. “I really like the Puckett piece, it’s very emotional. I think everyone is stocked up in terms of expressing their emotions since COVID-19 shut everything down.”
“It Perched for Vespers Nine”, composed by Josh Puckett, was very percussion heavy and gave a spooky, Halloween feel. The piece was well chosen for the day of the concert, being close to October.
The third piece that was played was titled “Pyrotechnics” by Andrew Faulkenberry. This piece was energetic and fun. Faulkenberry is a young composer with only a handful of pieces released.
The fourth piece is titled “Rhapsody for Alto Saxophone” by Andre Waignein. The piece was a call and answer piece featuring saxophone soloist Alex Payne. The piece contained four movements, giving Payne a chance to show off his skills. Payne rocked the stage with his fellow ensemble.
The last piece performed was titled “Soul to Soul” by Quinn Mason. The piece was very beautifully written and expertly played – a well-chosen piece to end the night. Dr. Byrd stated that he specifically saved this piece for last to send us off with something memorable and beautiful.
Breaux is a senior music education major and co-principal in her section. “I love the unity [of the ensemble],” said Breaux. “[wind ensemble] is an upper-level performance group. It’s usually the top players of the high school that ended up being in the Wind Ensemble. Everyone has the ability to be able to [audition]. We play a lot of cool stuff and new music. There’s not a lot of directors that emphasize music from minorities or music from women.
“[Dr. Byrd] is the prime example of being a model for his students and everything he does is carefully calculated in his brain,” continued Breaux. “He is incredibly intelligent and passionate about what he does. I have never seen somebody with so much passion in an itty-bitty body.”
The next concert for the Wind Ensemble will be held on Nov. 12 at the Carroll County Performing Arts Center.
Director Dr. Josh Byrd will be hosting auditions for any interested students for the wind ensemble in late November, early December. If interested in auditioning, contact Dr. Byrd via email at email@example.com.