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2010.03.23 > For Immediate Release
contact: Beverly Newsam - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - e-mail: bnewsam@mail.unomaha.edu

Symphonic Wind Ensemble to Present 'Earth, Wind and Water' March 28

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by James Saker with associate conductor Courtney Snyder and graduate conductor Bruce Bender, will deliver "Earth, Wind and Water," the second concert of the spring semester performance season, Sunday, March 28.

The event begins at 3 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center (SPAC) Recital Hall and will feature two guest composers, Rusty Banks and Michael Daugherty.  The duo will attend the performance and work closely with the ensemble in the preparation of their works.

Admission is free for UNO faculty and students with a MavCard.  Available at the door, tickets cost $5 for adults and are $4 for seniors and students.  A complimentary reception honoring the guest composers and conductor will take place in the SPAC foyer immediately following the concert.

The inspiration for the program title, "Earth, Wind and Water," is a collection of six thematic pieces that will be performed, representing each of the natural elements.

Earth will be depicted in "Mother Earth: A Fanfare" by renowned composer David Maslanka.  Wind will be represented by Jack Stamp's "Cloudsplitter Fanfare." 

Water will be presented in a diverse group of settings, including "Sea Songs" by British composer Ralph Vaughn Williams.  The ensemble will continue with the world premiere of Rusty Banks' "Cahaba," a composition inspired by a canoeing adventure the composer has taken on the Cahaba River in Alabama. Currently a professor of music at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, Banks is known for his innovative-modern style of music, with an emphasis on beauty and invention.  His compositions have been performed in China, Italy, Canada and throughout the United States. 

The water theme continues with the performance of a rarely performed work by Homer LaGassey, "Sea Portraits - a Tone Poem."  The guest conductor for the performance will be Omawale Akintunde, director of Black Studies at UNO. 

The concert will conclude with Daugherty's "Niagara Falls," which the composer describes as a "souvenir," inspired by many trips to Niagara Falls.  "Niagara Falls" is a 10-minute musical ride over the Niagara River, with an occasional stop at a haunted house or wax museum along the way.  Daugherty is one of the most widely performed and commissioned American composers of his generation.  His works have been performed by numerous American symphony orchestras and by the finest collegiate and professional wind ensembles.   

For more information, contact Saker at jsaker@unomaha.edu or (402) 554-3446.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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