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Juniata Wind Symphony Plays Dvorak Classic in Concert

(Posted April 4, 2011)

The Juniata Wind Symphony will play at 3 p.m., April 10, in Rosenberger Auditorium.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Exploration of all kinds is sort of the informal theme for Juniata College's Wind Symphony and Concert Band join forces in a concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 10, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

The concert is $5 for adults and free for students and children under 18. The Concert Band and Wind Symphony are both conducted by James Latten, associate professor of music and director of Juniata's instrumental music program.

The Concert Band opens the performance with the finale from Antonin Dvorak's "Symphony No. 9," or "The New World Symphony." Dvorak wrote the symphony after visiting and exploring the United States in the 1890s. He incorporated influences from Native American music and African-American spirituals in the piece.

Exploration of space is honored by the composition "Threnody for Challenger," by James Sochinski. The piece was written to honor the space shuttle Challenger, which was lost shortly after launch in 1986. The next selection, "Old Churches," by Michael Colgrass, explores historical musical forms in adapting the Gregorian chant structure to an instrumental ensemble.

The first section of the concert ends with "The Lost Lady Found," which is an excerpt from the Percy Grainger composition, "Lincolnshire Posy." The selection is the sixth movement and finale for a composition based on English folk songs.

The Wind Symphony will perform the "Juniata College Alma Mater" as its opening selection. The composition was written in 1926, and the ensemble will play a new arrangement, written by Latten.

The music turns slightly international as the group performs "Aegean Festival Overture," which is heavily influenced by the Greek music composer Andreas Makris grew up with. The next selection, "Sanctuary," is an emotion-filled celebration of life written by composer Frank Ticheli to honor the birth of a new child.

The concert will end as the ensemble plays "Variations on a Shaker Melody," by American composer Aaron Copland. The selection is perhaps the most recognizable section of Copland's composition "Appalachian Spring," which was written as a ballet for choreographer Martha Graham in 1945. The central musical theme is based on the Shaker song "Simple Gifts."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.