A Musical Year with the Arkansas Winds
Its repertoire might range from Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” to John Philip Sousa marches, but the Arkansas Winds Community Concert Band — like all wind ensembles — can trace its roots to post-Civil War military bands. “In America, from the middle of the nineteenth century through the Civil War, bands were predominantly brass bands, generally consisting of cornets, saxhorns and drums,” reads a wind band history published by Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. “Afterward, due to the influence of legendary bandmasters such as Patrick Gilmore, the popularity of the military band rose.” Sousa formed his first professional band in 1892. Those bands “did some marching through the years,” says Michael Ferguson, conductor and music director of the Arkansas Winds. “They were intended to be a little more mobile than an orchestra. You can’t play on the move with a cello or a string bass. “But through the years, that part of it has been eliminated.” Not that Ferguson and many of the 60 to 80 musicians in the Arkansas Winds wouldn’t love to march. Most of them came from high school and college bands.
ACO presents young talent in 31st annual competition
“The snow and ice really did a number on our classes,” says Haas Hall Academy’s art teacher Basil Seymour-Davies with a laugh. “We only had a certain number of days to get our artwork together, and they were really limited. We didn’t get as far as we wanted, but we’ve done really well.” Although the extreme winter weather kept Haas Hall students out of class for over a week, the young artists and their teacher have submitted 8 works for the largest student based art competition in the area. “The students have really produced some great pieces,” Seymour-Davies says. “I’ve urged them to enter as much artwork as possible.
It’s such a valuable lesson for them.” And while only 8 pieces were chosen to compete in the art show hosted by Arts Center of the Ozarks, each submitted piece is displayed in some location in the school, he says. Displaying the artwork is a way for students to get used to critique and criticism that comes with showing art, he says. “This is beyond creating art,” say Seymour-Davies. “Showing art in competitions like this helps these kids get over any anxieties they may have.
The more experience they have, the more confident they will be in there art. It’s really helpful for those who chose to go to college and pursue this as a career. And for those who don’t, it teaches them to not hold back.”
Adult auditions dates are May 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m.
(Soloists should choose something from the show to sing. Chorus will sing in small groups.)
Children’s auditions will be May 10 starting at 10 a.m.
(Children should come with a prepared solo from the show and a recent “head shot” photo. This photo need only be big enough to distinguish face and hair. A recent school photo will do.)
EVERYONE MUST SING WITH PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT, which we will provide.
NO CD or other recorded accompaniment.