The Valdosta State University Wind Ensemble performs live in concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30, in Whitehead Auditorium. Admission is free of charge and open to the pubic.
The Wind Ensemble is the premiere wind band at VSU and is conducted by Dr. Benjamin Harper, director of bands and assistant professor of music. The 44-member group performs a diverse repertoire of the highest caliber and, as a professional training ensemble, focuses on the development of independent musicianship and leadership skills in a large group setting.
“This is our first live performance open to the public since the pandemic began,” Harper said. “We had a great time working on recording projects over the past few months, but we are thrilled to be back in front of a live audience again. The students are excited and have been working hard to put on a great performance.”
Thursday’s concert features Roger Nixon’s Centennial Fanfare-March, Percy Grainger’s Colonial Song, Gustav Holst’s Second Suite in F, and David Gillingham’s Council Oak, a piece inspired by a special oak tree on the Seminole Hollywood Reservation in Florida.
“When the Seminole tribe was faced with termination by the United States government, leaders of the tribe began meeting regularly underneath this great oak tree, which helped breathe new life back into the Seminole tribe,” according to a synopsis provided by the Department of Music at VSU. “In 1957, the U.S. Congress officially recognized the Seminole tribe of Florida.
“Council Oak, commissioned by the Florida Bandmasters Association, was inspired by the significance of this tree and the poetry of Moses Jumper Jr., who wrote a poem by the same name that chronicles the history of the Seminoles as told by the oak tree.”
Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of the VSU Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.