CSU Wind Symphony heats up end of Elements Series with fire

ElementsFireFinal2The Colorado State University Wind Symphony concludes its season of concerts that represent the basic elements (wind, earth, water, and fire) with a fire-inspired concert featuring CSU faculty member Wesley Ferreira, clarinet, and Michael Bowles, graduate conducting assistant, on Friday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Griffin Concert Hall of the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St.

This season, each concert by the Wind Symphony (previously the Wind Ensemble) showcases music embodying a different element, including air, earth, water and fire. Represented through musical themes, inspirations, rhythms and other musical characteristics, this season the vision of newly appointed Director of Bands Dr. Rebecca Phillips has delighted the senses through this elemental exploration.

“The Elements Series idea is a vehicle for exploring composers who’ve written in these areas,” said Phillips. “It allows our students to perform some of the finest literature in the genre in a new way.”

This performance features CSU’s Wesley Ferreira on clarinet in a performance of Michael Daugherty’s Brooklyn Bridge, a commanding “panoramic” clarinet concerto inspired by the different stunning views from the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Reflecting the evening’s theme, the piece is imposing yet calming, quick-moving yet lingering, and mysterious, just like a fire. It evokes all the senses of this powerful element, similar to the other pieces of the concert.

“The work contains an amazing and varied energy that often boils to the surface, and like fire, captures the listener’s attention in an often mesmerizing way,” said Ferreira.

The performance also features works by American composers Steven Mackey, Adolphus Hailstork, and Roger Nixon.

About the CSU Wind Symphony

The CSU Wind Symphony performs the finest literature of yesterday, today, and tomorrow with a flexible instrumentation that includes as few as eight or as many as 75 players. Membership, determined each semester by a blind audition, includes the most accomplished graduate and undergraduate CSU music and non-music majors. In addition to commissioning and premiering new works, the CSU Wind Symphony regularly features faculty artists, and the ensemble tours throughout the state and region, performing at conventions, conferences, and other venues across the west.

About Wesley Ferreira

One of the prominent clarinetists of his generation, Wesley Ferreira has been praised by critics for his “beautiful tone” and “technical prowess” (The Clarinet) as well as his “remarkable sensitivity” (CAML Review). Fanfare Magazine notes that Ferreira is “clearly a major talent.”

Ferreira joined the music faculty at CSU’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance in 2011 as assistant professor, where he maintains a thriving clarinet studio. Ferreira’s discography now totals six, including the 2013 East Coast Music Award winner – Classical Recording of the Year, for Beyond the Shore and the Ships with soprano Helen Pridmore (Centrediscs label). His debut solo album titled Madison Avenue (Potenza label) was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.

About Michael Bowles

Michael Bowles is a graduate teaching assistant at CSU working on his master of music in conducting. Before receiving his bachelor of music from CSU in 2011, Bowles performed with a variety of CSU ensembles.

Upon graduating, Bowles worked as the band and choir director at Cedaredge High School and Cedaredge Middle School in Cedaredge, where under his direction the Cedaredge High School Marching Band was named the 1A State Champions for three consecutive years and in 2012 set the record for the smallest band to win a state championship in Colorado. Bowles has also performed as a percussionist with the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Fort Collins Wind Symphony. Bowles has also presented clinics at Colorado State University and at the Colorado Music Educators Association Clinic/Conference.

About Rebecca Phillips

Rebecca Phillips is the newly appointed director of bands at CSU, where she conducts the CSU Wind Symphony and guides all aspects of the band and graduate wind conducting program. Prior to this appointment, she served as the associate director of bands, director of athletic bands, and associate professor at the University of South Carolina, where she was responsible for directing the Symphonic Winds Concert Band, “The Mighty Sound of the Southeast” Carolina Marching Band and “Concocktion” Pep Bands; teaching undergraduate instrumental conducting; and directing the Carolina Summer Drum Major Clinic.


Tickets are $7 for CSU students, $1 for youth (under 18), and $12 for the public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at 970-491-ARTS (2787), or online. Youth tickets must be purchased in person at the ticket office. All tickets are subject to a $1 ticket fee for both online and at-the-door purchases. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended to avoid lines and further at-the-door fees.

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