Concert Preview: ISU Wind Ensemble

Stephen Ortiz

The Wind Ensemble is one of three concert bands that Iowa State has to offer. Students are eligible to participate in the Wind Ensemble and auditions are at the beginning of every fall semester with some auditions at the start of the spring semester to fill any vacancies.

The 60-member band of winds, brass and percussion performs pieces from the 16th century all the way to most contemporary pieces available for both smaller chamber sizes and full ensembles.

The Wind Ensemble usually performs six times a year on campus at either the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall or Stephens Auditorium. Off campus, the Wind Ensemble has performed in Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall and in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center.

It has also had tours in Europe in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2013. Tour stops included London, Amsterdam, Bruges, Vienna, Prague, Salzburg, Paris, Ulm, Rothenburg, Brussels, Munich and Stuttgart.

The Wind Ensemble is directed by Michael Golemo, director of bands at Iowa State. The first concert he will be conducting this year is Sept. 21. When asked about the Wind Ensemble, Golemo had only good things to say.

“This is a terrific ensemble — they performed last May for the Iowa Bandmasters Association convention and brought down the house,” Golemo said. “Come to [Sept. 21’s] concert and enjoy a tremendous concert.”

Golemo also mentioned something that will be unique to this concert.

“[Sept. 21’s] performance will also feature faculty alto saxophone soloist, Mike Giles.”

Giles is a senior lecturer of music and theater, specializing in saxophone and jazz studies at the Iowa State.

“This is the first concert of the season and [it] begins the journey for this band that will lead them to a European tour in May 2015,” Giles said.

“I will be playing “Cannonball Concerto” by Scott McAllister, written for alto saxophone and band as an homage to the jazz saxophone titan Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley,” Giles said of his upcoming performance.

Attendees of this concert will hear three pieces performed. The first is “Second Suite in F” by Gustav Holst, which is described by Golemo as a “classic British band composition.”

“Cannonball Concerto” by Scott McAllister is another piece being performed, and Golemo described it as “a funky work for alto saxophone and band.”

The final piece that will be performed is “Music for Prague” by Karel Husa, which Golemo said is a “composition that musically depicts the city of Prague’s quest for independence, by a Pulitzer-prize-winning composer.”

The first concert of the season for Iowa State’s Wind Ensemble is at 3 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.