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Wind Ensemble to perform 'American Classics' on Feb. 28

Office of Communications & Marketing | Northeastern State University
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Performing a program featuring the works of U.S. composers, the Northeastern State University Wind Ensemble presents American Classics on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts.

The ensemble, conducted by Dr. Norman Wika, will perform works by Aaron Copland, Ron Nelson, Vincent Persichetti, Samuel Barber and H. Owen Reed. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and children. Tickets will be sold at the door and the box office opens at 6:30 p.m.

"This program is made up of pieces that were composed by well-known American composers of the 20th Century," Wika said. "At the beginning of the century the classical music of the United States was considered vastly inferior to that of Europe. If an American composer wanted to be taken seriously, he or she had to spend years studying at the top European conservatories."

The ensemble will perform An Outdoor Overture by Copland, who studied for several years with the French composition teacher Nadia Boulanger.

"While in France, Copland realized that European countries all had a sound that defined their music – French music sounded French and German music sounded German," Wika said. "He realized that there was not an American sound."

Wika said Copland set off a transformation of American classical music when he returned to the U.S. and worked to find a musical identity.

"American composers stopped trying to sound European and developed their own, personal styles," Wika said. "Through the work of composers such as those featured on this program, American classical music found itself on equal footing with Europe."

Other program selections are Rocky Point Holiday by Nelson, Pageant by Persichetti, Commando March by Barber and La Fiesta Mexicana by Reed.

"All featured pieces are standards of the American wind band literature that have stood the test of time and will be performed for years to come," Wika said. "We invite music lovers to attend this performance."

The top woodwind, brass and percussion players from the NSU music department comprise the NSU Wind Ensemble. It regularly performs on and off campus. For more information call Wika at 918-444-2706.

Published: 2/14/2013 2:49:04 PM

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