CSU Wind Symphony Highlights Innovative Music Moments to Help “Find Your State”!

By Tyler Stup, SMTD Publicity Intern

Whether you’re seeing it spoofed, as a gif, or you’re even in theaters, it’s impossible to see Star Wars yellow text crawl without imagining the powerful beginning chords. Come Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Rebecca Philips will conduct CSU’s Wind Symphony on pioneering pieces of music, like the Star Wars overture, for the ensemble’s Find Your State: Spirit of Innovation concert.

After reading the first paragraph, you can already probably hear it. The themes from the original Star Wars movies, as composed by John Williams, first appeared in 1977. Nearly 40 years later, the music still holds up as one of the most instantly recognizable movie scores in cinematic history. Maestro Philips says, “I remember when I first saw the movies. The music didn’t get tired and got better with each of the original movies.”

The other piece of radically innovative music to be played during the evening will be Concert for Wind Ensemble, composed by Steven Bryant. According to Dr. Phillips, the piece “takes every single student in the band. Every player has a solo part, and a technically challenging solo part.”

At the university level, what can be considered difficult? In this case, difficult means a lot of extended technique. “A saxophone is able to play fast notes,” says Phillips, “but are they able to play fast notes that are so rhythmically challenging at a tempo that is beyond what might be normal? And is the audience able to listen to that and recognize how difficult and clean it is? Furthermore, can a tuba play the same passage at that fast tempo?” In Concerto for Wind Ensemble every player is put to the test. “If every student doesn’t step up to the plate, the piece doesn’t work.” Phillips adds, “These musicians are playing in a way people could not play on an instrument 100 years ago.”

Pushing the boundaries of what was possible a century ago is part of why Phillips categorizes this music as innovative. “It takes the tradition of the instrument and takes it in a new direction. It takes all we’ve come to expect when we walk into a formal concert and it turns it on its ear.”

But groundbreaking music isn’t the only noteworthy aspect of this concert. Below the surface, Phillips has programmed this concert with the next generation of CSU Rams in mind. “This is still about finding your state and your place,” she concludes. Behind the doors of the Griffin Concert Hall, audience members will find a state of talented musicians, exciting compositions, and an artistic community that is abundant at Colorado State University.

Find Your State: Spirit of Innovation will be a one-night-only event on Dec. 8th at 7:30 p.m. in the Griffin Concert Hall. Don’t miss out on an evening of innovative masterpieces that push what it means to inspire, awe, and be a part of the symphonic arts in the 21st century. We hope that you will join us and “Find Your State!”

Ticket Information

Tickets for the performance are no charge for Full-fee paying CSU students, $3 for youth (under 18), and $12 for seniors (62+), and $14 for adults. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at csuartstickets.com.