Wind Symphony showcases 10 pieces to limited audience


Photo taken in 2019

Griffin Tonsager , Copy Editor (He/Him)

The SDSU Wind Symphony performed for a very limited number of guests in Larson Memorial Concert Hall at SDSU’s Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Friday’s concert, featuring 10 pieces, marks the first time that the SDSU Wind Symphony has performed for an audience during the Spring 2021 semester.

Opening with Aaron Copland’s explosive “Fanfare for the Common Man,” this was Director of Concert Bands and conductor Jacob Wallace’s first time conducting this piece with the Wind Symphony at SDSU.

“There are some things I’ve never been able to do before that we’re doing, Copland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ and Paul Dooley’s ‘Masks and Machines’ are two great examples,” Wallace said. “I love everything we’re doing, which tends to be the case for me. I find little pieces of joy in all the things we program.”

Part of Friday’s con-cert employed a unique performance technique called “cori spezzati,” in which players are positioned across the auditorium from each other to play to one another over the heads of the audience. This technique was used to perform Italian composer Giovanni Gabrieli’s “Canzon primi toni á 8.”

During the concert, Wallace also recognized four graduating seniors who will be leaving the wind symphony at the end of the semester: Principal B-Flat Clarinet Player Alyssa Anderson, Principal Trumpet Player Liz Pauli, Tuba Player Garret Buchanan and Principal B-Flat Clarinet Player Emily Pierce.

“I am incredibly proud to be able to say that that was my last performance because we put in so much work and it went really well,” Anderson said. “I will miss playing with such an amazing group of people, but I’m grateful for the opportunities Wind Symphony gave me.”

The wind symphony has been practicing for Friday’s concert since November. “We started rehearsing a few weeks before winter break,” Izzy Carlson, a freshman music entrepreneurship major, who plays B-flat clarinet, said. “Then we had our big break, and we came back to our pieces and we’ve been rehearsing those since the beginning of the second semester.”

As far as PAC staff, not much was out of the ordinary for preparation for the concert.

“What we did on Friday night involved very little additional production for PAC staff outside of videorecording responsibilities,” Wallace said.

Wallace, currently in his sixth year of con-ducting at SDSU, stressed his gratitude to his fellow SDSU faculty and staff who make the process of conducting concerts easier.

“This year has had a lot for us to deal with, but I’m grateful for really supportive colleagues who have made tremendous efforts to help get all of these things taken care of,” Wallace said.

As a venue, Wallace says PAC is great for groups like the Wind Symphony.

“I think it’s a really lovely facility,” he said. “The acoustics are very nice, and they’re adapt-able for every group that goes into the performance spaces. It’s also aesthetically quite pretty, so it’s fun to invite people from throughout the region because they’re usually extremely impressed by being in the building.”

The concert from Feb. 5 will be available to stream Feb. 12, coinciding with SDSU’s virtual hosting of The 85th Annual South Dakota Bandmasters Association Clinic, which takes place Feb. 11-13.