HATTIESBURG -- The nationally recognized
Wind Ensemble, the top concert band at The University of Southern
Mississippi, will present its second concert of the fall semester
at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in Bennett Auditorium.
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."
Doctoral conducting assistant Carson Vermillion of
Lenoir, N.C., will conduct a landmark work for the band, Ingolf
Dahl's Sinfonietta for Concert Band. Vermillion came to Southern
Miss, having had a successful public school teaching career, to
study conducting with Fraschillo.
"We are fortunate at Southern Miss to attract
quality students like Carson Vermillion," Fraschillo said.
"We are committed to these students' future, as they place
a great trust in the hands of the faculty and university system
as a whole. We don't take this commitment lightly. We know the sacrifices
made by these students and their families in returning to school."
Dahl was an American composer, conductor, pianist,
and music educator of Swedish-German parentage. His Sinfonietta
consists of three movements, each with a dance-like lilt. This masterpiece
for the band sounds audience-friendly yet simultaneously complex,
with incredible attention to detail.
The piece receives a great deal of respect from the
wind band community, with its richly lyric, unique and mature language.
Creative interplay between instruments runs through the work, creating
not only melodic beauty but a rhythmic and timbral contradiction.
For those musical connoisseurs who enjoy the music
of John Philip Sousa and Percy Grainger, Fraschillo will conduct
three works that have been staples in the band's repertoire, including
Sousa's "Free Lance March" and Grainger's "Irish
Tune from County Derry" ("Danny Boy") and "Shepherd's
Grainger, an Australian pianist and composer who became
a U.S. citizen in 1918, wrote a number of works that continue to
be enjoyed by modern audiences, as do some of the remarkable arrangements
that he devised.
"Shepherd Hey" is one of his folksong arrangements
for a large wind ensemble like the Southern Miss group.
Grainger also wrote some original songs and choral
music as well as solo and choral arrangements of folksongs. These
include "Irish Tune from County Derry," which was also
arranged for wind band.
Tickets for the concert 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 about Southern Miss bands, call (601) 266-4990.