The Wind Ensemble is St. Cloud State University’s premiere concert band ensemble, comprised of the finest wind and percussion musicians on campus. It is a creative arena for future music educators, performers, pre-professionals and music lovers alike to express themselves and support each other in music making endeavors.
The ensemble is committed to the performance and promotion of the richest, most varied music for wind band, ranging from time honored classics to world premieres of new music. The Wind Ensemble is known as one of the most innovative university music ensembles in the country by virtue of its imaginative programming, fostering of major and emerging composers, unique outreach programs to music education, and its commitment to making music meaningful in communities and in the lives of people.
Auditions for the Wind Ensemble occur on the first week of each semester. Audition contents are:
- Solo or etude (5 to 7 minutes) player’s choice
- Major scales (2-3) director’s selection
- Chromatic scale, at least 2 octaves
- Sight reading
- Brief interview of student’s background, commitment level, interests
- Project Positivism
- Breathe: Relax, Breathe Deeply
- Focus: Listen….Hear the Music
- Create Beautiful Sounds
- Express Yourself / Feel the Music
- Dress for Performance
Sign up for an audition time at the Music Department table during Student Orientation or on the Band Bulletin Board located in the lower level of the Performing Arts Center beginning in late July. Questions? Contact: Dr. R.K. Hansen, Director of University Bands firstname.lastname@example.org / (320) 308-3022 / PAC 156 Bands Brochure (pdf 676k)
With Dr. Hansen’s guidance, the group has performed for 8 professional conventions including the American Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, Minnesota Music Educators Association, and the Music Educators National Conference. The ensemble has given premiere performances of over 35 notable works to critical acclaim, including:
Ian Krouse. Crónica del última año en la vida de un mexicano
Ian Krouse, On the Beach at Night (for solo bass voice and wind orchestra)
Libby Larsen. Grand Rondo: Napoleon Dances the Can-Can in France, Italy and Poland
Libby Larsen. Songs from Letters of Calamity Jane (for soprano and chamber winds)
Libby Larsen. Within the Circles of Our Lives (solo singers, wind orchestra, 2 pianos)
Justin Freer. Liberty Fallen
Melissa Krause. Illumination (rev.) for wind orchestra
Scott Miller. Homage
Scott Miller. Landscape No. 1 for wind ensemble and produced sound
Gabriel Fauré / Anderson. Pavane, Op. 50 for wind orchestra
Giacomo Puccini / Barrett. March Sequence and Reprise from Turandot
Richard Strauss / Barrett. Königsmarsch
Richard Strauss / Barrett. Parade Marches No. 1 and No. 2
Wind Ensemble Audio & Video
mp3 (198k) Niagra Falls (1997) by Michael Daughtery
mp3 (158k) Prelude in Eflat Minor (1921 / 1978) by Shostakovich / arr. H.R. Reynolds
mp3 (242k) America the Beautiful (1958) arr. Carmen Dragon
mp3 (843k) Kum-Bah-Ya (1965) arr. Roger Barrett
CDs, National Radio, Tours
The SCSU Wind Ensemble has made broadcasts on Minnesota Public Radio and taken concert tours to California, Russia, Scandinavia, and Mexico–where it performed at the National School of Music and made a national radio broadcast in Mexico City. The ensemble has also been featured in a National Public Radio Broadcast on a Pipes and the Winds Concert, appearing on Michael Baron’s Pipe Dreams Sunday morning show. The Wind Ensemble is featured with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Moravian Philharmonic and several professional orchestras from New York on a compact disk devoted to modern music. This recording marked the first time Vienna Modern Music Masters, the largest recording industry of contemporary music, recorded a concert band.
The ensemble has also produced and distributed two concert season compact disks: Red, White and New & Messages from the Past, which contain several premiere performances of unique wind band works. The group plans the release of a collaborative cd, American Chronicles, with the Michigan State University Wind Symphony and UCLA Wind Ensemble featuring new major wind works by Los Angeles composers Justin Freer and Ian Krouse in the winter of 2009.
Recent Wind Ensemble Repertoire
Bernstein, Leonard. Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Copland, Aaron. Fanfare for the Common Man
Copland, Aaron. Quiet City (trumpet and wind orchestra)
Daugherty, Michael. Bells for Stokowski
Dvorak, Antonin. Serenade in D Minor, Op. 44 (chamber winds)
Ewazen, Eric. Visions of Light (trombone and wind ensemble) +Minnesota Premiere
Freer, Justin. Liberty Fallen *World Premiere
Grainger, Percy. Colonial Song
Grantham, Donald. ‘Come, Memory’…
Grieg, Edvard. Funeral March
Holst, Gustav. First Suite in E-flat Major, Op. 22a
Hovhaness, Alan. The Prayer of St. Gregory (trumpet and wind orchestra)
Ives. Jerusalem, the Golden (brass qunitet and band)
Ives Charels E. Here’s to Good Ol’ Yale!
Janacek, Leos. Fanfare from Sinfonietta
Jenkins, Joseph Willcox. American Overture
Krouse, Ian. On the Beach at Night (baritone, violin, wind orchestra) * world remiere
Krouse, Ian. Crónica (percussion and wind ensemble) *World Premiere
Larsen, Libby Letters from Calamity Jane (soprano and chamber winds) *World Premiere
Melillo, Stephen The Speech of Angels (chorus and wind ensemble)
Milhaud, Darius Suite Francaise
Moussorgsky, Modeste. Pictures at an Exhibition
Orff, Carl. Carmina Burana
Owen-Reed, H. La Fiesta Mexicana: A Mexican Folksong Symphony
Rogers, Bernard. Three Japanese Dances
Sousa, John Philip. Hands Across the Sea
Sousa, John Philip. The Stars and Stripes Forever
Strauss, Richard. Fanfare for the Vienna Philharmonic
Stravinsky, Igor. The Firebird Suite (1919)
Susato, Tielaman. The Danseryes
Vaughan Wiliams, Ralph Toccata Marziale
Williams, Clifton. Fanfare and Allegro
ACF NESTING PROJECT
The St. Cloud State University Wind Ensemble is a leader in the initiation of the American Composers Forum Nesting Project. This selective, nationwide program is committed to student composers’ inspired moments in exploration and discovery in sound, and the resultant sharing of their creative processes with musicians from other music schools. The project provides arenas or “nests” consisting of mentor composers, conductors and ensembles for composers to search new sounds, find their unique voices and fashion cutting edge, original works. Other schools in the project are: Indiana University, University of Texas, Emory University of Atlanta, Juilliard School of Music, University of Connecticut, UCLA, UM-KC, and University of Minnesota.
CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME! 2007 ABA CONCERT TOUR
The SCSU Wind Ensemble was one of 4 university bands nationwide to be selected to perform for the 2007 American Bandmasters Association convention in San Luis Obispo, CA. The Wind Ensemble worked with world class guest conductors: Keith Brion, Ray Cramer, Craig Kirchhoff, Stephen Pratt, and Glenn Price. Their momentous program consisted of a blend of time-honored classics and world premieres of music by major American composers, including 3 premiere performances of music by Libby Larsen, Justin Freer, and Ian Krouse. Numerous letters of appreciation for the group’s musicality, presence and programming poured in from all over the country. (see ABA Reviews)
Ray Cramer, President of Midwest Band and Orchestra International Clinic: The concert of the St. Cloud State University Wind Ensemble at the recent ABA convention was simply one of the finest performances I have ever heard from a mostly undergraduate ensemble. It was a pleasure for me to conduct your fine musicians and to share in the premiere of Ian Krouse’s outstanding work. The time and energy you and your students put into the experience will long be remembered. I cannot recall an ABA concert where so much new and powerful music has been introduced. Congratulations.
Keith Brion, New Sousa Band and Yale University: Warmest thanks to you and your wonderful St. Cloud State Wind Ensemble for our great collaboration in San Luis Obispo. Working with all of you was a real joy, one that was born out in such a terrific performance! I was especially impressed with your students’ faultless concentration and cooperation. It was a very happy time!
Thomas Fraschillo, President of the American Bandmasters Association Convention: Your performance at the American Bandmasters Association was splendid. Everyone with whom I spoke was most pleased with your programming, and the manner in which your students presented themselves...Please give my sincerest congratulations to all those who were in the preparation. It was a splendid evening.
William Johnson: Former President of World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles: I want to extend both my congratulations and thanks to you and the members of your ensemble for performing such great repertoire at such a high level at the 73rd Annual American Band masters Association convention. What an extraordinary evening! We all felt we were a part of history with all your great conductors and premiere performances of great music. Throughout your performance there was always a sense of virtuosity and expression as well as a careful attention to detail. Each of your works was performed with excitement and energy—they really danced and sang! The sonorous grandeur and majesty with which you performed Puccini, the subtle excitement and “dancy” quality of Gandolfi, and the whirlwind of color and brilliance you achieved in the Freer made your performance one that I will always cherish.
Craig Kirchhoff, Former President of College Band Directors National Association: Please convey to your group that the experience of conducting them at ABA in San Luis Obispo was my genuine pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed them and their music-making. “Hats off to Thee,” Professor Hansen for giving your students a mountaintop experience!
Barry Kopetz, Noted Composer and Conductor, Capitol University: It was great to listen to the fine St. Cloud State University Wind Ensemble under your baton at the 73rd American Bandmasters Association conference this past week. Your students played with great intensity and displayed remarkable levels of musicianship. Please extend my congratulations to the students on a truly memorable performance...There was some great repertoire performed that evening. I particularly enjoyed the new cutting-edge music: Larsen, Freer, Krouse, and Gandolfi... All of your renditions were nothing short of spectacular.