Hodgson Wind Ensemble’s October concert features “American Guernica,” draws on jazz, salsa, gospel

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The Hodgson Wind Ensemble performs its second concert of the season with a Hugh Hodgson School of Music faculty soloist in Hodgson Concert Hall on Thursday, October 6, at 8 p.m.
 
The concert comprises several exciting and provocative 20th century works, including Dana Wilson’s “Concerto for Trombone,” featuring Joshua Bynum, associate professor of trombone at the School of Music.
 
The program begins with Ingolf Dahl’s “Sinfonietta,” written in 1961. The Swedish-German composer intended the work to conform to no single classification.
 
“I wanted it to be a piece that was full of size, a long piece, a substantial piece,” said Dahl. “But in addition, I hoped to make it a ‘light’ piece. Something in the serenade style, serenade ‘tone,’ and perhaps even form.”
 
Adolphus Hailstork’s “American Guernica,” from 1982, although only six minutes long, confronts one of America’s most heated, controversial and complicated issues: race. American Guernica is a musical reaction to the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Ala., that killed four young children. 
 
The composition tries to capture that moment: its precursor, the act itself and its wake. The inscription on the score reads, “for Carol, Addie Mae, Cynthia, and Denise; the four girls ages 14, 14, 14, and 11, killed at the 16th Street Baptist Church.” 
 
Bynum joins the Wind Ensemble for Wilson’s concerto next, lending the concert a touch of jazz. The concerto is infused with jazz sensibilities by way of its composer’s musical roots, its dedicatee—noted trombonist Henry Charles Smith—and Langston Hughes, whose poetry inspired the names of the concerto’s movements.

The final performance of the night, Roberto Sierra’s “Tumbao,” is a feel-good tune inspired by the music of Tumbao’s home, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

“We dare you not to dance your way out of the hall,” said Cynthia Johnston Turner, director of the Hodgson Wind Ensemble. “And once you’re out there, you might find a surprise.”

The Wind Ensemble’s concert will continue their trend of surprising and unconventional performances. Four audience members will be invited to sit on the stage while the Wind Ensemble performs “Tumbao.” Once again, admission to the concert is free with donation of a non-perishable food item to the UGA Food Pantry.

Also, the “tweet seats” set up in their last performance—designated by signage in the balcony area—will be available, encouraging attendees to join a live discussion of the concert on Twitter using the hashtag #HWElive.
 
This concert will be streamed live to the School of Music’s website at music.uga.edu/streaming. Admission without a non-perishable food donation is $12 or $6 with a UGA student ID.

The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music sponsors more than 350 performances each year. To view the performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email concert listing or learn more about the School of Music, go to music.uga.edu.