Genesee Community College Hosts Rochester's Eastman Wind Ensemble

The Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College is pleased to announce Rochester's Eastman Wind Ensemble will perform in the Stuart Steiner Theatre Saturday, May 1 at 7:30PM. Only one performance is scheduled for this highly anticipated, world renowned musical ensemble.

The Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College is pleased to announce Rochester’s Eastman Wind Ensemble will perform in the Stuart Steiner Theatre Saturday, May 1 at 7:30PM. Only one performance is scheduled for this highly anticipated, world renowned musical ensemble.

In the early 1950’s, Frederic Fennell was a young faculty member at Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, brainchild of Kodak founder George Eastman. Fennell loved concert band music, and so founded the Eastman Wind Ensemble (EWE), which became one of the world’s leading wind ensembles. An entire repertoire of wind ensemble music has grown out of, been commissioned for, premiered and performed by the group, including works known by most professional and amateur musicians who have ever played in a quality concert band.

The Ensemble celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2002 with a conference of international scope, including the premiere of a new work, the gathering of composers and performers from around the world, and the release of a multi-CD set of recordings compiled from sessions in Japan, Rochester and elsewhere. The Ensemble’s current director, Mark Davis Scatterday, was also introduced in 2002 as conductor of the group. Scatterday is Professor of Conducting and Chair of the Conducting and Ensembles Department at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music. As only the fourth conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Scatterday joined a prestigious line of conductors in the past fifty-plus years of the famed ensemble – Fennell, Clyde Roller, and Donald Hunsberger. The Ensemble’s current core of 50+ musicians includes undergraduate and graduate students of the Eastman School of Music, currently celebrating a triumphal December 2009 Midwest tour and release of a new CD, Manhattan Music.

"Bringing EWE to Genesee Center for the Arts continues the College's long tradition of hosting some of the world's leading musicians," said Bob Knipe, Dean of Learning Technologies, member of the Genesee Fine Arts Committee, Batavia Concert Band and Genesee Symphony Orchestra. "Genesee's Stuart Steiner Theatre is a perfect venue offering exceptional acoustics, as well as an intimate setting. We are in for a real treat. This will musically knock your socks off."

Knipe remembers an early affinity with wind ensemble music, which is characterized by complex arrangements for wind, brass and percussion instruments, usually with one musician (only) on a part. “I bought my first Eastman Wind Ensemble record about 1963, with Fennell conducting” joked Knipe. “I was enraptured – and still am.” In October 2004, Fennell, then aged 90, did a brief guest conducting appearance with the Ensemble he founded 52 years earlier. “I had the singular honor of shaking his hand, getting his autograph, and as an aside, talking with him about his brief stint in the late 1950’s as conductor of the then-new Genesee Symphony” Knipe recalls.

“That 2004 performance with the Wind Ensemble, in the Eastman Theater, was Fennell’s last” explained Scatterday. “He passed away just a few months later, but is fondly remembered by scores of Eastman graduates and music lovers worldwide. His legacy lives on, stronger than ever.”

One performance of the Eastman Wind Ensemble is scheduled for Saturday May 1, 2010 at 7:30 PM in the Stuart Steiner Theatre on the GCC Batavia campus. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students, seniors (55+) and GCC faculty/students. Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended, by contacting the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office, (585) 343-0055 x6814, or boxoffice@genesee.edu. The Box Office accepts cash or checks only; credit cards are not accepted. For directions, see http://www.genesee.edu.

Since this May 1 Genesee performance dovetails with a regional high school Jazz Festival hosted by Batavia High School, area high school musicians will have the opportunity to dine with EWE musicians before the 7:30 concert. Interested students should contact their high school band directors, or Jane Haggett at BHS, jhaggett@bataviacsd.org before April 23.

For more information about the Eastman Wind Ensemble, including listening to representative recordings, visit http://www.esm.rochester.edu/ewe/. For more information about this concert, contact boxoffice@genesee.edu or rgknipe@genesee.edu.

 

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