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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Feb. 26: University Concert Bands to perform

The University Concert Bands consists of the Symphonic Band and the Concert Wind Ensemble, which are composed of university students, staff, and community members.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music News Release, 2-5-2013

MANKATO, Minn. – The University Concert Bands will perform on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The University Concert Bands consists of the Symphonic Band and the Concert Wind Ensemble, which are composed of university students, staff, and community members. Dr. Amy Roisum Foley directs both of these ensembles. In addition, master’s student Mrs. Dawn Punke will be directing both ensembles.

Dr. Amy Roisum Foley says, “While not entirely the focus, the concert was inspired by Irish folk music.” The Symphonic Band’s repertoire evolved into a folk song theme, which took familiar melodies, like the Shaker Song and Simple Gifts, and turned them into something new. This can be heard in the composition Simple Gifts: Four Shaker Songs by Frank Ticheli and Chorale and Shaker Dance by John Zdechlik. While there is still a trace of Irish within Dave Black's Two Irish Sketches, the program is greatly varied.

The Concert Wind Ensemble began with an Irish theme in mind as well. This spun off into Variants on a Medieval Tune by Fisher Tull, which is based on a familiar ancient theme. David Gillingham‘s Be Thou My Vision is the centerpiece of the concert; this piece originated as the Irish folk melody, Slane. The concluding piece is an enjoyable Sousa suite called People Who Live in Glass Houses. While the piece was frequently performed at the turn of the 20th century, it was not accessible to the public until 2004. The movements bring us through various European regions and their most familiar spirits: 1. The Champaignes; 2. The Rhine Wines; 3. The Whiskies—Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, Rye; and 4. Convention of the Cordials.

Graduate student Dawn Punke is working towards a Dual Masters in Bassoon Performance and Wind Band Conducting. For the Concert Wind Ensemble portion of the program, Punke will conduct Sketches on a Tudor Psalm by Fisher Tull, which is based on an old English psalm tune written by Thomas Tallis. The piece begins with a short introduction and then continues to state the entire psalm melody twice. Tull includes small melodic segments of the psalm later in the piece and plays around with them in several ways. The piece ends with a restatement of the main theme and a dramatic flourish to the end. “The piece is quite difficult and has challenged me to grow in my awareness of the ensemble and in my conducting technique. As the graduate assistant this year, I thoroughly enjoyed working on this piece with the Concert Wind Ensemble and have also enjoyed working with the Symphonic Band,” stated Dawn.

Concert admission is $9; $7 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

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