by Kaylee Baez
The Wind Ensemble is heading to Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City to perform in the National Band and Orchestra Festival hosted by Manhattan Concert Productions on March 23. Along with performing at Lincoln Center, the band has the chance to work alongside critically acclaimed composers and professors, according to Band Director Mr. Christopher Vitale.
According to Vitale the wind ensemble was granted this opportunity after submitting an application and recordings from last year’s group.
He added, “We have the wonderful opportunity to spend an hour working with one of the adjudicators on Saturday in NYC for some last minute feedback and preparation… Timothy Mahr, who is a professor of music at St. Olaf College and an internationally recognized composer, will be our clinician for Saturday’s session.”
According to mcp.us, the National Band and Orchestra Festival aims to give ensembles the chance to be reviewed by recognized professors while performing in venues such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
According to Vitale, the Norman Dello Joio and Frank Ticheli pieces that the band will be performing rank at Grade 6 Literature, the most difficult level of music—mostly performed by advanced high school and university bands. Vitale said that the band has been working since January to prepare for the festival.
Said Vitale, “We’ve held several out of school rehearsals and have had numerous instrument specialists and clinicians in to work with the entire band over the past two months.”
Said senior band member David Gruskin: “When it comes to music as challenging as this, you have to live and breathe it to really do it justice. The forty minutes we get in class just isn’t enough at this level, so individual practice is necessary.”
This is the first time the WHS Wind Ensemble has performed at Lincoln Center.
Said Vitale, “It’s a once in a lifetime experience. I know our students are extremely excited and feel fortunate to have an opportunity to perform in this prestigious hall.”