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Released November 16, 2004

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 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 Hey."

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.

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December 8, 2004 3:35 PM