Gustavus Wind Orchestra shines spotlight on graduating seniors, guest artists

Posted on May 29th, 2019 by

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra conducted by James Patrick Miller closes out its season with a finale concert featuring a stacked list of special guests Friday at 7 p.m. in Björling Recital Hall.

The performance opens with Gustav Holst’s lively Second Suite for Military Band in F Major, followed by the first featured soloist of the evening, Haley Kaul ’19, performing Gary Kuo’s Wingspan. Kaul is an English and communications studies major with a music minor and is a seven-time published author. Wingspan is Kuo’s first piece for horn and band, but he is an accomplished composer with six Emmy Awards for his compositions featured on television shows like As the World Turns and All My Children.

The program then transitions to a special performance of Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs – Set II featuring baritone Professor of Music Michael Jorgensen. This will be Jorgensen’s final performance as a faculty member at Gustavus as he and his wife, long-time accompanist Bonnie Jorgensen, are set to retire to Florida at the end of the academic year.

Jorgensen says he hopes that he has been able to guide his students in ways that have allowed them to continue to pursue music long after graduation. He says that things he will miss most are his students and colleagues in the department. “I am proud of my wonderful students and what they have taught me, and I am proud to be part of a department that always strives for excellence no matter what,” he says.

Alex Theship-Rosales ’19 is this year’s senior conductor and will lead the band in John Klohr’s “The Billboard March”. Theship-Rosales is an environmental studies major and plays euphonium in the band. Next year he will begin a year of service in Rwanda where he will be teaching English and working on a farm.

The final collaboration of the evening features two faculty members, trumpet players Jonathan Brandt and Garrett Klein, as soloists on James Stephenson’s Duo Fantastique. Stephenson is an accomplished composer whose recent and upcoming premieres have been performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and Minnesota Orchestra. He will be on campus to work with the ensemble Thursday and Friday of this week and will conduct the piece on the program.

The concert is free and open to the public, no ticket is required. For those who cannot make it to campus for the concert, it will also be livestreamed.

 

 

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