The nationally renowned University of Southern Mississippi Wind Ensemble will showcase in concert the student winners of the Southern Miss Bands Concerto Competition on March 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
The featured soloists for the evening include: Grant Futch, trombone; Brittany Trotter, flute; Thomas Giles, saxophone; and Jesus Castro, flute. The winners will be featured alongside graduate conducting students of Dr. Thomas V. Fraschillo, senior conductor and director of the Wind Ensemble.
“Every year we have about 20-30 audition for this competition,” said Fraschillo. “The students really look forward to performing and we’ve been very pleased with the outcomes the past ten or so years the concert has been held. Not only do the winners gain great experience, they also get the chance to have a professional recording of their work.”
Castro, a native of Ibague, Colombia, will be performing Carmen Fantaisie, which is based on themes from the Georges Bizet operaCarmen. Castro is a master degree candidate in flute performance and a student of Dr. Danilo Mezzadri. During the performance, Fraschillo will be conducting the ensemble.
Futch, a senior trombone performance major from Baldwyn, Miss., will be performing Concertino for Trombone by Ferdinand David. Futch is a student of Dr. Ben McIlwain. Conducting the ensemble will be Bernardo V. Miethe, a master degree candidate in conducting from Valencia, Venezuela.
Trotter, a sophomore majoring in both music education and flute performance, is featured on a piece entitled Fantasie by composer Georges Hue (1858-1948). Brittany is a student of Mezzadri. Conducting the ensemble will be Elizabeth Jackson, a master of music education candidate from Brandon, Miss. Jackson earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2009 from The University of Southern Mississippi.
Giles, from Monument, Colo., will be performing William Bolcom’s (b. 1938) Concert Suite for E-flat Alto Saxophone and Band. Giles, a senior majoring in music performance, graduated from Lewis Palmer High School in Colorado, and is a student of Dr. Lawrence Gwozdz. Doctoral conducting associate Jonathan Helmick is leading the ensemble with Giles. Helmick, holds bachelor degrees in music education and business and organizational communication, and a masters degree in euphonium performance from the University of Akron.
Also featured in this concert is doctoral conducting associate J. Corey Francis, who is conducting Ecstatic Waters by Steven Bryant (b. 1972). Composed in 2009, Ecstatic Waters depicts man versus machine by using electronic sounds with the wind ensemble. Francis is from Madisonville, Ky. He earned a bachelor of music education from Murray (Ky) State University, and a master of music in wind band conducting from Georgia State University.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For more information, call the University Bands Office at 601.266.4990.
PHOTO: Southern Miss Wind Ensemble Concerto winners, pictured L to R: Grant Futch, Brittany Trotter, Thomas Giles, Jesus Castro. (Submitted photo)