“Symphonic Dances” - Shepherd Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band

On Friday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m. in the Frank Arts Center Theater, the highly acclaimed Shepherd University Wind Ensemble and the Shepherd University Symphonic Band, under the direction of Dr. Scott Hippensteel, will perform a concert entitled Symphonic Dances. The program will feature a variety of music for dance and the world premiere of Symphony for Wind Band composed by Shepherd University Director of Music Theory and Composition, Dr. Mark Andrew Cook. Free with admission is a pre-concert lecture about the works beginning at 7:15 p.m. A great way to derive even more enjoyment from the performance, the audience is invited to spend time with conductor Dr. Hippensteel and the musicians learning about and hearing excerpts from the program of exciting concert music to follow.

Selections from Symphonic Band will include; Amparito Roca, a Spanish paso doble; Albanian Dance, a raucous village dance or Shõta by Shelley Hanson; Balkanya, a suite of three Balkanses dances by Jan van der Roost; But Beautiful a popular ballad by American songwriter James Van Heusen arranged for band by Sammy Nestico; and Havendance, a robust whirling dervish by David Holsinger. The Wind Ensemble fills in the dance card with John Philip Sousa’s Hands Across The Sea; Bandancing, a dance suite by Jack Stamp; Radiant Joy by Steven Bryant; One Life Beautiful, a descriptive work by Julie Giroux depicting the sanctity of each person’s existence; Armenian Dances, a medley of ethnic dances by Alfred Reed.

Mark Andrew Cook, Director of Music Theory and Composition in the Department of Music at Shepherd University, holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Music Theory from The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music of The Catholic University of America, and a BMed from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. At Catholic University, he studied Music Theory under Steven Gerhardt Strunk, Composition under Gerald Francis Muller and Conducting under Robert Wayne Ricks. An active composer, his works have been performed at College Music Society conferences and the National Convention of the Society of Composers. He has garnered numerous awards and accolades, including Master Composer status from International Music Prizes in Composition, WVMTA Composer of the Year, and international premiere performances at the Alba Music Festival.

The Shepherd University Wind Ensemble, comprised of music majors and a few select non-majors, is the premier wind group of Shepherd University and each year the audition becomes more competitive. This ensemble has been invited to perform around the world. In 2001, the group accepted an invitation form the Lord Mayor of Dublin to tour Ireland and performed throughout the country, including stops in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Tramore, and Dublin. In 2004, their outstanding recording of Barnes Symphony #3 garnered them an invitation to be a part of the 2005 season in Carnegie Hall. The well-attended concert received a standing ovation and was well received by the New York audience. In May 2009, the SU Wind Ensemble performed on a 10-day concert tour of Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague, the ensemble toured Spain in May of 2011, and in May 2013 they toured France and Monaco. The group is currently preparing for a tour of Portugal and Spain this coming May.

Admission and seating for Symphonic Dances is on a first come-first serve basis and advance sales or reservations are not available. The box office will open one hour prior to each performance. General admission is $15, $10 for faculty/staff, Shepherd alumni, senior citizens and students 18 and under, and free for Shepherd students with Rambler ID. For more information call 304-876-5555 or visit http://www.shepherd.edu/music.