Hodgson Wind Ensemble’s final spring concert set for April 19

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The Hodgson Wind Ensemble (HWE) closes its season with a colorful concert in Hodgson Concert Hall on Tuesday, April 19, at 8 p.m.

Featuring Olivier Messiaen’s “Oiseaux Exotiques” and works from Antonin Dvořák, Steven Stucky, Erik Morales and Bruce Broughton, the performance will feature several special guests from a number of areas in the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

The concert begins with Messiaen’s work. The ensemble will put forth a multi-faceted presentation of “Oiseaux Exotiques.”

In addition to naming the winners of a poster contest leading up to the concert—the HWE released a number of posters to the public to be colored and submitted, with the winning submission becoming the official concert poster—a video of Messiaen speaking will precede the performance, as well as a short lecture from School of Music faculty.

Rebecca Simpson-Litke [assistant professor of music theory/composition] will be doing a top-of-show short talk on Messiaen and why those birds are so exotic with demonstrations from the ensemble on how Messiaen transcribed birdsong to actual instruments,” said Cynthia Johnston Turner, director of the HWE.

The performance of the work itself will feature Liza Stepanova, School of Music assistant professor of piano.

The concert continues with Dvořák’s Serenade for Winds in D Minor, which Johnston Turner describes as “one of the most beautiful works written for winds. Period.” The ensemble will perform the piece without a conductor.

Next is “Threnos” by Stucky, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer with a connection to the ensemble by way of Johnston Turner, who was Stucky’s colleague at Cornell University and previously commissioned a work performed by the HWE last year. 

The sound of “Threnos,” which translates to “lamentation,” hews closely to its meaning, with a climax that graduate conducting student Tyler Ehrlich describes as “a full-throated cry of grief.”

Morales’s Concerto for Trumpet in C and Piano prominently features three School of Music students: Ehrlich as guest conductor, Geneva Stonecipher on piano and Michael Meo, trumpet soloist, who secured his part and the concerto’s place on the program as winner of the HWE’s Concerto Competition last fall.

“This is a light, delightful piece, beautifully played by Michael,” said Johnston Turner.

The program concludes with “A Celebration Overture” by Broughton, the 10-time Emmy award-winning composer. Though he is best known for his work with film scores, Broughton’s wind ensemble, band, orchestra and chamber ensemble music has been performed the world over.

The sentiment of this particular piece echoes Johnston Turner’s feelings on this final 2015-2016 concert as a whole.

“This is a celebration of our graduates: just a great, fun night.”

Tickets are $10 each or $5 with a UGA student ID and are available at pac.uga.edu, 706-542-4400 or by visiting the Performing Arts Center box office.