The Colorado State University Faculty Chamber Winds are embarking on a two-week European tour July 4 – 19, 2014, performing at festivals, and historic sites in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.
The anchor event of the tour is the annual Mid Europe Music Festival, held in Schladming and Haus/Ennstal, Austria, July 8-13, where the ensemble is scheduled to perform five concerts at a variety of venues. According to the festival’s website, “MID EUROPE is one of the most important international festivals for wind bands, and proudly presents an enormous stylistic variety of the highest quality.” The CSU Faculty Chamber Winds were invited to participate based on the group’s eclectic repertoire, arrangements, and recordings of the last two years.
The CSU faculty is passionate about bringing creative new elements to classical music making. The tour repertoire includes European and American compositions, with much of the program specially arranged and edited for the ensemble by CSU Associate Director of Bands Dr. Richard Frey, and Trombone Professor Dr. Christopher Van Hof. “The unique instrumentation of the ensemble creates a fantastic opportunity for us to put together some great music,” said Dr. Frey. “Though this type of small wind ensemble is rarely heard in America, composers have been writing for this medium for two centuries. Concert goers will hear one-of-a-kind transcriptions of opera overtures, a beautiful new setting of Copland’s Old American Songs,” as well as original works for harmonie, like Mendelssohn’s Notturno, Op. 24.”
During the week-long festival, the CSU Ensemble will play concerts alongside wind bands from Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and more at the world-wide band festival, which also features a brass tattoo, workshops, and masterclasses.
The tour is an opportunity to expose the CSU music brand internationally, both for the purpose of recruiting and networking. “We are thrilled to take our world-class faculty on this tour,” exuded Frey, “and we look forward to sharing this special program with audiences across Central Europe.”
Additionally, the festival, and subsequent tour, brings great exposure to wind bands, a medium that is not as well known in the United States. “The ensemble has been performing for a couple of years, and as we continue to grow, touring was the natural next step in that process,” added Frey. “A chance for us to connect with similarly-minded musicians from all over the world; making friendships and professional connections are also a fun part of what we do.”