From the Little Apple to the Big Apple

Members of the Kansas State University Wind Ensemble perform "Danzón No. 2" during the Carnegie Hall Send-Off Concert in All Faiths Chapel on March 30, 2015. (George Walker | The Collegian)

The K-State Band Wind Ensemble held a concert in which it performed the entire set it will perform at the New York International Music Festival on Monday evening. The wind ensemble will be traveling to New York City, New York, to participate in the Festival, where they will be playing at Carnegie Hall next Tuesday evening.

The pieces the ensemble will be playing are the “Star Spangled Banner” by Smith and Stravinsky, “Bat out of Hell” by Paul Richards, ‘‘Danzón No. 2″ by Arturo Márquez, “Remember Me” by David Maslanka and “First Suite in E-flat for Military Band” by Gustav Holst.

Once a year the wind ensemble will play a piece that is written for the marching band. Frank Tracz, director of bands, and other collegiate band directors collaborated with an idea for the piece. This year’s piece was written by David Maslanka and was inspired by a Holocaust survivor story that was heard at the Nuremberg Trials.

“The wind ensemble did a very good job. It was cool to watch people I practice with every day play on this stage and then on a stage of big stature next week,” Melissa Sauls, senior in music education, said.

Fifty-seven students will be traveling to New York City to perform and represent K-State. During their time in New York some students will be taking private lessons with world-class musicians. The ensemble also gets a chance to perform in Central Park where John Philip Sousa, the march king and founder of modern day band, once played.

“I am most excited for exploring New York City and Broadway, but also playing at Carnegie Hall,” Blake Cordell, junior in applied music and member of the wind ensemble, said.

Carnegie Hall acts as the mecca of the music world, according to Tracz. The performance hall is one of the top stages in the world and is said to have the finest acoustics.

“It is nerve-wracking and exciting to be playing on such a huge stage,” Conner Penton, senior in music education and member of the wind ensemble, said.

The ensemble has been rehearsing for about four weeks. The students rehearse Monday, Wednesday and Friday for about two hours with extra practices around big events such as this. The students that make up the wind ensemble are very good and fine players who put the time in to play and practice Tracz said.

“Mondays’ performance acted as a dress rehearsal or ‘spring training baseball game,’” Tracz said.

The wind ensemble holds concerts to practice and, in this case, get all the nerves out, make mistakes and see what changes may need to be made.

“This is such a humbling experience,” Tracz said.

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