The Westchester Symphonic Winds, the area’s pre-eminent adult wind and percussion ensemble, will continue our 30th season this coming Sunday, February 11 at 3:00 p.m. at Tarrytown Music Hall. I am very excited to lead this particular program, which will feature the milestone work for wind ensemble, Music for Prague 1968, by Karel Husa.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Karel Husa wrote Music for Prague 1968 as his personal response to the dark and tragic events in Czechoslovakia in August 1968, when Soviet-led Warsaw Pact troops and tanks invaded Prague to suppress the reformist trends which had been observed there for several months. Recognized as Mr. Husa’s most dynamic work, Music for Prague 1968 is an emotional expression of the tragic pain endured by the Czech people 50 years ago.

Our featured soloist is Don Batchelder, Principal Trumpet of the New York City Opera Orchestra. He will perform Trumpeter’s Lullaby by Leroy Anderson, and From the Shores of the Mighty Pacific, by Herbert L. Clarke. We will also feature guest conductor Keith W. Hodgson, who will conduct Icarus and Daedalus Fantasy by Keith Gates. Apprentice conductor, Kelly Oram, will conduct the Giles Farnaby Suite, by Gordon Jacob.

The program also includes: Americans We March by Henry Fillmore; a la Machaut by Andrew Boss; and Tribute by Travis Cross.

Tickets for this concert are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. Children under 10 are admitted free of charge. You can purchase tickets at tarrytownmusichall.org, or at the door.

I truly hope you will be able to join us for this amazing program, the second of our wonderful thirtieth season!

Curt Ebersole
Conductor/Music Director

#GivingTuesday (November 28, 2017) is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and following the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. Please support Westchester Symphonic Winds on this very special day!

This year Westchester Symphonic Winds celebrates their 30th anniversary season and any donation big or small would make a huge difference in our financial well being and ability to bring a high level musical experience to our community.

Over the years, we have given benefit concerts for many groups, including the Food Bank for Westchester, Student Assistance Services, Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, Irvington Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Rotary Club of Briarcliff Manor, Emergency Ecumenical Food Pantry, Family Services of Westchester, Yonkers Arts Education, and others.

Please support the Westchester Symphonic Winds this #GivingTuesday

Make a contribution today !
https://westchestersymphonicwinds.org/contributions/

Our 30th Season starts on Sunday!

The Westchester Symphonic Winds, the area’s pre-eminent adult wind and percussion ensemble, will present the opening concert of our 30th Season, “Bridges & Byways,” this Sunday, November 5 at 3:00 p.m. at Tarrytown Music Hall (13 Main Street, Tarrytown, NY). I am thrilled to be leading this program, beginning my tenth year as Music Director.

Our spotlighted work is “Brooklyn Bridge” by Michael Daugherty, featuring Westchester County native, Steve Cohen, clarinet soloist. Known worldwide for his solo performances, Steve is Professor of Clarinet at Northwestern University, and we are thrilled to welcome him home to Westchester for this performance.

We will also feature guest conductor Richard F. Guillen, Director of Bands at Arlington High School, conducting “Famishius Fantasticus” by Michael Markowski, a spoof on the Looney Tunes themes of the ’50’s and ’60’s. Our apprentice conductor for this concert is Ben Acrish, Director of Bands at Hendrick Hudson High School, who will conduct “Metroplex,” by Robert Sheldon, a three-part salute to New York City.

The program also includes: “El Camino Real,” by Alfred Reed; “Our Reply,” by Carl Holmquist; and “Colonel Bogey March” by Kenneth J. Alford. There is something for everyone — and I promise a couple of surprises as well!

Tickets for the November 5 concert are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. Children under 10 are free. You can purchase tickets at www.tarrytownmusichall. org, and more information about the ensemble is available at westchestersymphonicwinds.org.

I hope to see you on Sunday!

Curt Ebersole
Conductor Music Director

WSW Winter Concert next Sunday!

The next Westchester Symphonic Winds concert is next Sunday, January 29 at 3:00 pm at Tarrytown Music Hall. Our program is filled with music which reflects determination and grit – a perfect program for this winter afternoon!

We are opening with a brilliant display of artistry and spirit, Resplendent Glory by Rossano Galante, which sets the invigorating tone for the entire concert. Next, our own Mark Dodge will lead the ensemble in the rousing Chorale and Alleluia by Howard Hanson. Our guest soprano soloist, Danielle Ashbahian, will delight you with the Four Maryland Songs, by Jack Stamp, based around American poetry and featuring the Maryland state song. Composer Carl Holmquist will be on hand to hear his own Play!, the final movement of his first symphony, a jazzy salute to the city of New Orleans, which was the winner of the 2007 Claude T. Smith Memorial Band Composition Contest.

After intermission, we turn to the Hymn of St. James,by Reber Clark, a modern take on an ancient plainsong. Our guest conductor, Jeff W. Ball, the founder, conductor, and artistic director of the Brooklyn Wind Symphony, will conduct the stirring On This Bright Morning, by David Maslanka. Daniella Ashbahian will join us again for Ron Nelson’s Aspen Jubilee, singing a unique wordless vocalise, which adds an exciting and unusual dimension to this landmark work. And we will conclude with the patriotic National Emblem March, by E.E. Bagley, which features the melody of our National Anthem in its first strain.

Tickets for the performance can be obtained from the Tarrytown Music Hall Box Office at 13 Main Street, Tarrytown, by visiting http://www.tarrytownmusichall.org, or by calling the Box Office at 877-840-0457.

Come spend a transforming afternoon with us on January 29!

Fall Concert this Sunday!

flyer-fall-2016-lo-resWe are primed and ready for our opening concert of the 2016-2017 season, this coming Sunday, November 6 at 3:00 pm at Tarrytown Music Hall. We have an amazing program with exceptional guest artists. Tickets are available at the door and from the Tarrytown Music Hall Box Office, priced at $20/general admission and $15/students and seniors.

Our program is headlined by Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an ExhibitionOriginally written for solo piano in 1874 and published after his death in 1886, Mussorgsky was inspired by a posthumous exhibition of watercolor paintings by his friend, Viktor Hartmann. The composer’s intent was to create a musical journey, capturing the varying emotions and atmospheres represented by the paintings. Mussorgsky linked all these individual movements with a Promenade, which opens the suite and then reoccurs several times throughout the scope of the work. Beginning with a jaunty melody, the Promenade is transformed with each repetition, representing the change in mood one would experience while walking through the exhibition. Individual movements then represent paintings titled The Gnome, The Old Castle, The Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks, and more. The final movement, The Great Gate of Kiev, is an epic “grand finale.”

The concert also features euphonium soloist John J. Palatucci, reprising his 2016 Caramoor performance of The Carnival of Venice, our own Robert Bennett conducting A Hymn for the Lost and the Living, by Eric Ewazen, our guest conductor, Dr. Bradley Ethington, conducting the iconic Second Suite in F for Military Band, by Gustav Holst, and the concert will open with Aubrey Fanfare by Jack Stamp.

This concert opens our 29th season of bringing the very best of wind band music to Westchester. I hope you’re planning to attend, and I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!

WSW’s 29th Season!

ebersole__curt-6642-edit-2As the new school year begins, professional and community ensembles across the nation are reborn. As the Conductor/Music Director of the Westchester Symphonic Winds, I’m excited to announce the programs for our 29th Season in the historic Tarrytown Music Hall!

We are committed to bringing our Westchester audiences the best in wind band literature, and this season is no exception. On November 6 at 3:00 pm, we will feature Mussorgsky’s complete Pictures at an Exhibitionincluding the epic final movement, The Great Gate of Kiev. Our Winter program on January 29 at 3:00 pm features Play! by Carl Holmquist, the final movement of his Symphony No. 1: A New Orleans Symphony. And our Spring concert on May 20 at 8:00 pm includes the beautifully sculpted Machu Picchu, by Satoshi Yagisawa.

Our season is filled with magnificent guest artists. Guest conductors include: Dr. Bradley Ethington, Syracuse University, conducting Gustav Holst – Second Suite in F; Jeff W. Ball, Brooklyn Wind Symphony, conducting David Maslanka – On This Bright Morning; and Patrick Burns, Montclair State University and New Jersey City University, conducting his own composition, I Loved Well Those Cities.

World-class soloists abound, including: John Palatucci, euphonium; Daniella Prepis, soprano; Christopher Creviston, soprano saxophone; Robert Sherman, narrator; and a special encore appearance by Lois Hicks-Wozniak, soprano saxophone. We will also feature WSW members Bob Bennett and Mark Dodge, as part of our Apprentice Conductor program.

Please consider following us on Facebook and Twitter. Tickets for all concerts can be obtained through the Tarrytown Music Hall Box Office. And if you didn’t receive our trifold brochure, you can download one here.

We love our audiences, and we are excited to perform for you again this season. I’m looking forward to seeing you, starting with our first concert on Sunday, November 6 at 3 pm in Tarrytown Music Hall.

Curt Ebersole
Conductor/Music Director

Exchange Concert this Sunday at The Palace!

This coming Sunday, June 19 at 3:00 p.m., the Westchester Symphonic Winds will host the Northshore Concert Band of Evanston, IL for a concert featuring both bands, performing individually and collectively, at The Palace Theatre in Stamford, CT.

Our recent GoFundMe.com campaign has yielded over $7500.00 in donations to support of this concert! We are extremely grateful, and extremely proud of you, our supporters. Thank you so very, very much. Now we need your presence at this wonderful concert!

Event listing 1 - MBT & JCE

Mallory Thompson and Curt Ebersole, conductors

This dynamic concert will feature these two outstanding community bands on the second leg of their Exchange Program, which began in 2015 when WSW traveled to Chicago to perform alongside NCB at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. The Exchange will provide an opportunity for WSW to return the hospitality offered to them in Chicago last year by NCB, with sightseeing and cultural opportunities in New York City complementing the concert performance finale. The Exchange grew from a joint idea conceived by the conductors, Dr. Mallory Thompson and Curt Ebersole, who envisioned this program as an opportunity to share and energize the musical experience of both ensembles.

Dr. Thompson will open the program, leading the Northshore Concert Band in interpretations of Mangulina by Paul Basler, Sheltering Sky by John Mackey, and Symphonic Metamorphosis by Paul Hindemith. The concert continues with Mr. Ebersole conducting the Westchester Symphonic Winds in its renditions of Moth by Viet Cuong, Mare Tranquillitatis by Roger Zare, and Kingfishers Catch Fire by John Mackey.

The concert will conclude with both bands combining forces to perform two rousing American marches by John Philip Sousa: The Gallant Seventh and The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Tickets are $24 for adults, $19 for seniors and students (plus box office fees); these may be obtained by visiting The Palace Theatre online at www.palacestamford.org/,or by calling 203-325-4466. Tickets will also be available at the door. More information about our guests can be found at www.northshoreband.org.

I hope to see you on Sunday!

Yours,
Curt Ebersole
Conductor/Music Director

 

Final subscription concert tomorrow night!

Our final concert of this wonderful 2015-2016 season at Tarrytown Music Hall is upon us, tomorrow evening, Saturday, May 14, at 8:00 pm. We truly hope you will be able to join us for this unique program.

Fueled by the concept of flight, our “Birds of Earth & Sky” program is bookended by two pieces which pay homage to Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Opening the concert is Fisher Tull’s beautiful Chant of the Phoenix, while the concert will close with the extraordinary Kingfishers Catch Fire, by John Mackey. Both works end with the signature block chords and immense crescendo which are the hallmarks of Stravinsky’s masterwork.

The remainder of the program includes the flying woodwind runs of Mendelssohn’s Kontzerstück Nr. 2 for solo clarinet and basset horn, played by West Point Band members SSgt. Kristen Mather de Andrade and MSgt. Sam Kaestner. We are featuring two marches: The Invincible Eagle by John Philip Sousa, and Midway March, by John Williams, which was featured in the film score of the World War II epic, Midway. Darryl Bott, Associate Director of Bands at Rutgers University, will join us as guest conductor to lead the performance of Twelve Seconds to the Moon, a high-energy work which traces the history of the first flight by the Wright Brothers (12 seconds in duration) to NASA’s successful moon voyages. And I admit my favorite work on the program is Moth, by Viet Cuong — an exquisite tone poem, following a moth’s flirtatious fight around, and eventual demise in, the proverbial flame.

Click here for tickets in advance, or purchase them at the door. Come to Tarrytown for dinner before or late supper after! We hope you can join us for this great evening of music!

Our GoFundMe Campaign

Dear Friends,
As we draw closer and closer to our Exchange Concert with the Northshore Concert Band on June 19, we have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise the remaining funds necessary to produce this concert at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, CT. We have already raised 25% of our $10k goal, but we still need your help.
As president, my participation in the WSW has been a joyride. I never imagined that my return to playing could possibly lead me to such a fabulous ensemble and wonderful group of people. During my tenure as a member of the board, there have been many memorable and significant moments for WSW:
  • 15 concerts at TMH, including our spectacular 25th Anniversary Gala
  • Our performance at the Association of Concert Bands National Convention in Poughkeepsie
  • Our concerts in Yonkers and Mahopac in support of their school music programs
  • Conductor’s Clinic and Symposia at NVOT
  • Two July 4th concerts at Caramoor (with our third upcoming on July 2)
  • Kol Ami benefit concert, and of course,
  • a trip to CHICAGO!
  There have also been the more practical changes:
  • new chairs
  • long-wished-for performance risers
  • a permanent home for our expanding library
Season after season, under Curt’s guidance, the group has continued to improve and raise its own standards. Accordingly, we are garnering national attention. This is something that we can all be very proud of, and it brings me to the point of this post.

None of what we have accomplished over the past few seasons happens without the necessary funds. This fund-raising effort is about our desire to continue to nurture the group, to build upon the momentum that we have established and to enable us to look for more exciting opportunities for the WSW family, and generally improving the WSW experience.

Please consider making a contribution to our GoFundMe campaign. Every dollar raised enables us to host the shared performance with the Northshore Concert Band on June 19.
And by all means,  encourage everyone to attend both our May 14 concert at Tarrytown Music Hall, and June 19 concert at the Palace Theatre in Stamford!

Thank you for supporting this fundraiser and thank you for being a part of the WSW family.

Jim Savage, President
Westchester Symphonic Winds

Notes from the Back Row

We are a wind and percussion ensemble. Often regarded as support for the wind players, the percussionists are relegated to a position behind the back row of the band. A cymbal crash or bass drum boom accents what the group is doing, adding a bit of color, but seldom are they featured. But on this concert, Nathan Daughtrey’s Black Rainbow (dedicated to the memory of Howard Van Hyning) will highlight the extraordinary musicianship and technical proficiency of our percussion section. From the very first rehearsal, when we read through the piece, our percussionists owned it. I literally stopped playing to take in what they were doing, and was reminded of what a talented group of musicians comprise our percussion section. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect at this Sunday’s concert:

 

We extend our thanks to Vince Galgano for filming and producing this documentary, underwritten by a generous donation from Daniel & Barbara Harrison.

Over the past few seasons, our programming has featured individuals or sections from within the group. The sax section, our flutists, and a tuba soloist have all had an opportunity to shine, and now it is our percussion section’s turn.

I continue to be humbled by the talent inherent in this ensemble, and ridiculously proud to be a part of this very fine group.

So please join us on Sunday at 3:00 pm and be prepared to be blown away!

Jim Savage
President, Westchester Symphonic Winds