The Music department alumni are set to perform on campus this month as part of a wind instrument concert ensemble.
The Alumni Wind Ensemble will perform the first of their three annual concerts at 3 p.m. on September 14 in the Fine Arts Center concert hall.
According to Brian Cardany, the director of the wind ensemble, the concept of the group was first devised following a music department alumni event in the Spring of 2010.
He said, “We had a fairly large number of former music majors return for a full day of music making and conversation, and some alumni became interested in finding ways for them to reconnect more regularly.”
The solution for this came from a former student. Cardany recalled, “There was one alumnus, Allison Lacasse, who took the initiative to establish a Music Department alumni group through the Alumni Association, and we started the Alumni Wind Ensemble as an initial effort to keep folks involved.”
Following approval of the concept by the music department, Lacasse asked Cardany, the director of several URI bands including the URI Concert Band and Ram Marching Band, to direct the ensemble.
The group first performed in May 2011, and has subsequently held concerts every September, January and May. Lacasse remains involved with band, both as the music department’s alumni chapter contact and as a flautist.
Cardany said that there are several steps in planning the wind ensemble concerts. After dates are reserved for rehearsals and concerts, Lacasse contacts department alumni to determine who would be interested in performing or attending.
He said, “Once the roster begins to form, I choose a program of music that is interesting and appropriately challenging. This can be difficult, because it is rare that the entire roster is settled before the first rehearsal; there are often last-minute additions or drop-outs. Â Before the first rehearsal, the music folders for each member need to be compiled and adjustments made during the weekend as the roster settles.”
At the time he was interviewed for this article, Cardany was in the process of determining the program for the September concert. Among the pieces he is considering are “Sheltering Sky’ by John Mackey and Alberto Ginastera’s “Danza Final.”
Cardany said that after he decides on the compositions that will be performed, his first priority will be to, study the scores to gain a firm knowledge of how the pieces are put together and develop ideas regarding interpretation.
“I also develop a basic rehearsal plan that will be adjusted during the rehearsal process as I get feedback from the ensemble,” he said.
During the two rehearsals for the concert, Cardany continues to work out how the pieces will be performed, and he determines the cues, solos and other intricacies of the concert.
After the concert, the planning process is repeated for the next performance in January. Cardany will conduct several other concerts throughout the year, including the URI Concert band on October 30 and The American Band on November 2. He will also direct the athletic bands, including Ram Marching Band, throughout the semester.
The wind ensemble concert is the first concert on the music department’s 2014-15 calendar. The next event will be a performance by the URI Symphony Orchestra on October 18.