After a rousing concert at the University Center for the Arts on Tuesday, the Wind Symphony left early Wednesday morning on a bus bound for the Western Slope. Ahead lies concerts in Grand Junction, Albuquerque, N.M., and Monument, Colo. This first leg of the trip is incredibly scenic going over the Rockies. It’s many of our players’ first time to the Western Slope and there have been countless pictures taken from the bus windows. But even with all the wonderful views, many of our brass players have felt the need to get some practice time in – unconventional, but effective!
This first night away from Fort Collins brought us to Grand Junction High School where Mr. Isaak Lavatie hosted us in their acoustically terrific auditorium! While we all love performing in the beautiful Griffin Concert Hall at CSU, getting out and experiencing a variety of high quality acoustical settings is so important for our students, especially when it also allows us to come to an area that hasn’t heard our music for a good many years.
CSU Composition Professor James David’s piece, Big Four on the River (2014), was a hit, being enthusiastically received, as was Grainger’s English Waltz conducted by Richard Frey. The piece that I am soloing on, The Glass Bead Game by James Beckel, is such a high energy romp!
Every performance can be such a unique and exciting experience (even different performances of the same piece!) that it’s always a blast to stand onstage and see what magic happens on any particular night. This night was no disappointment! I haven’t talked about this with Professors Wesley Ferreira, Richard Frey, or Rebecca Phillips, but I suspect they are of like mind.
After ending our long day with a stellar performance, we headed off to the hotel to catch a few precious hours of shut eye before leaving Grand Junction just before sunrise for Albuquerque. Let’s see what magic we can make happen tomorrow!
Dr. John McGuire
Assistant Professor of Horn
Colorado State University