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November 5, 2004

The ULM Wind Ensemble Presents Free Concert

The ULM Wind Ensemble, conducted by Derle R. Long, will present a concert Monday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall on the ULM campus. While there is no admission charge for this performance, tickets are required. Reserved tickets are available by calling the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts at 342-1569.

The program for this performance includes the Commando March by Samuel Barber, Beasts and Monsters Suite by Gary Ziek, Traffic by Ned Rorem, Canterbury Chorale by Jan van der Roost, Les Chasseresses by Leo Delibes and arranged by Van de Beek, and Tam O'Shanter, composed by Malcolm Arnold and arranged by Arnold Paynter.

Guest conductor for this performance will be Dr. Michael Spears, a major influence in the musical history of the Monroe/West Monroe public schools and former Director of Bands at West Monroe High School. Also conducting on this program will be Mrs. Christine R. Boles, a freelance musical artist and conductor who holds the Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

There are three works of particular interest on this program. The first is the tone poem Tam O'Shanter, not to be confused here with the Scottish woolen cap. Tam is the title and hero of a poem by the Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). He is a drunken farmer who, while riding home late from Ayr on a stormy night, disturbed a witch's party in the haunted church of Alloway. The hags pursued him to the keystone of the bridge over the river Doon, but had to stop there, as they could not cross running water. One witch, however, plucked the tail from his mare Maggie.

The second work of interest is Samuel Barber's Commando March. Barber's second symphony, written for the U.S. Army Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force) in 1942, made use of an electronic instrument which imitated radio signals. Shortly afterward, he was ordered by an Air Corps general to compose a march in quarter-tones, to symbolize the progressive nature of that branch of the service. However, the mild-mannered Barber stayed with his own style of composition, and the Commando March was given a highly successful premiere in Atlantic City in 1943.

The Beasts and Monsters Suite is a work composed of five short descriptive movements, each featuring a mythological creature. Pegasus was a flying horse that arose from the blood of the severed head of Medusa. The Naiads were generally good-natured water nymphs that assisted mortals and nature. The Satyrs were goat-like creatures who roamed the forest chasing nymphs and playing tricks on mortal men. The Sirens were beautiful sea nymphs who would lure unsuspecting sailors with their captivating songs. The Furies were merciless goddesses of punishment, sometimes known as the "Angry Ones", who were often depicted as ugly women with snakes entwined in their hair. For more information contact Derle R. Long, Director of Bands at 318-342-1594.

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