Hodgson Wind Ensemble concert to “summon” heroes, mountains

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The Hodgson Wind Ensemble’s (HWE) penultimate spring concert comes to Hodgson Concert Hall on Tuesday, March 29, at 8 p.m.

The ensemble, conducted by Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner, director of bands at the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music, will perform a program pulling from the 20th century works of composers Donald Grantham, Gustav Holst, Serge Lancen, Joseph Schwantner and John Williams.

“Summon the Heroes” by Williams, written for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, sets the stage for the works to come with its efforts to capture the mythical qualities of grand athletic endeavor.

Holst’s “Hammersmith” follows, a piece written for the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1930. The work, however, did not come into its legendary status until after its 1954 revival, when it, as HWE guest conductor Matthew Sadowski writes in the program notes, “achieved ‘cornerstone’ status in the wind band repertoire.”

“Symphonie de l’eau” by Lancen was written for the 2000 International Competition for Orchestras in Strasbourg, France, and premiered by the French National Police Band. Sadowski characterizes the piece as a “description of the water cycle,” musically conveying the element’s journey from gentle mist to pouring rain to raging torrent to majestic ocean and back again.

The Schwantner piece, “... and the mountains rising nowhere,” is dedicated to and inspired by the work of children’s author Carol Adler. Schwantner decisions in writing this piece were inspired, in part, by his personal experience with band music, which he called “mostly third-rate music and transcriptions.”

“Schwantner strove in the piece to create a composition for winds and percussion that did not sound like the typical band piece,” wrote Jack A. Eaddy, Jr., another guest conductor for this performance, in the program notes. “And he succeeded brilliantly.”

The concert closes with Grantham’s “Baron Cimitiere’s Mambo.” The work is inspired by voodoo lore. Baron Cimitiere, in the myths, is one of several “Baron” spirits in charge of the intersection between life and death. Despite their dark charge, the spirits all have rather rakish personalities.

“The music can be said to depict both sides of the Barons— dark and sinister at some times, light and mischievous at others,” wrote Tyler Ehrlich, a graduate teaching assistant for Johnston Turner, in the program notes.

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.

CORRECTION: Originally scheduled to perform with the ensemble, David Zerkel had to cancel his appearance with the Hodgson Wind Ensemble for this concert.