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Released November 10, 2003

TOP SOUTHERN MISS CONCERT BAND GIVES FALL CONCERT

HATTIESBURG - The nationally recognized Wind Ensemble, the top concert band at The University of Southern Mississippi, will present its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in Bennett Auditorium. The evening's program will feature music from fanfares and marches to Yiddish dances to sacred music.

Led by Dr. Thomas Fraschillo, director of bands at Southern Miss, the ensemble is widely known in music circles for its exceptionally gifted student performers and for its diverse and challenging repertoire.

"We are extremely proud of the continued accomplishments of this band," Fraschillo said. "The students continue to be a source of pride for us in the School of music - for their dedication to the music and for striving to perform at their best."

The concert will open with David Stanhope's "Olympic Fireworks." This work first premiered during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where it was used during the fireworks finale and during the entrance of the athletes. Stanhope is one of Australia's leading composers and a brilliant pianist, according to Fraschillo.

Southern Miss composer Luigi Zaninelli's work "Sacred Voices" also will be featured on the program. The Wind Ensemble has performed many of Zaninelli's works, each holding personal meaning to the prolific composer who has been a long-time faculty member at Southern Miss.

"As a composer, I often find myself the willing recipient of voices heard, felt, and imagined-not well defined melodies or precise phrases, but fleeting, ephemeral moments of exquisite aural pleasure," Zaninelli explained. "These subliminal voices sometimes find life in my work. 'Sacred Voices' is such a work. It is a personal expression of what I hold dear and precious in sacred music. It is my past, my present, and possibly my future."

Dr. Carolyn Treybig of Hattiesburg and a doctoral graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in flute performance will join the ensemble as guest soloist on Hank Badings' "Concerto for Flute and Wind Symphony Orchestra."

The ensemble then performs the first symphony written by famed conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. "Jeremiah" premiered in 1944 with the composer conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony. Long-time director of bands at the University of Minnesota, Frank Bencriscutto, scored the work for bands.

The text of "Jeremiah's Symphony" comes from the book of "Lamentations." The music depicts a general sense of destruction and chaos brought on by pagan corruption in ancient Jerusalem. Interestingly, the composer dedicated his first work to his father.

Brian R. Scott, a native of Columbia, S.C., will conduct Bernstein's symphony. Having earned his bachelors degree in music education from Southern Miss, Scott began graduate study with School of Music faculty members Dr. Richard Perry, assistant professor of tuba, Dr. Steven Moser, associate professor of music and conducting, and Fraschillo, professor of music and conducting. Scott is expected to receive his masters in conducting in the spring of 2004.

"Our graduate students over the years have been of high quality, and we encourage their educational growth by putting them on the podium during our concerts," Fraschillo said. "Scott is one of those deserving students who, by example, help maintain our standard of excellence in the School of Music."

Adam Gorb's "Yiddish Dances" was written in honor of the 60th birthday of Timothy Reynish, conductor of the Royal Northern College (Manchester, England) Wind Ensemble, where Gorb was then head of the School of Composition and Contemporary Music. Fraschillo said the composer himself described the work as a "party piece" because it combines two abiding musical passions-the symphony wind orchestra and the folk music of the Yiddish-speaking people, Klezmer. The five movements of the work are all based on Klezmer dances.

Closing the concert as it opened, the ensemble will perform another Olympic jewel, this one being Serge Prokofieff's "Athletic Festival March," which was written for the infamous 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The piece is the first of Prokofiev's Four Marches, op. 69, composed between 1935-37 for military band. Of note, the work was originally titled "March for the Spartakiad" and was written for a Russian athletic festival inspired by the highly disciplined warriors of ancient Sparta.

Tickets are $6 for general admission and $3 for Southern Miss faculty, staff and students, senior citizens and children under 12. Call the Southern Miss ticket office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425 for tickets or order online at www.usm.edu/tickets. For more information on the Southern Miss band office, call (601) 266-4990.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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