Wind Ensemble paying tribute to College of Fine and Performing Arts

The Western Carolina University Wind Ensemble will present a tribute concert Friday, Feb. 9, in honor of WCU’s College of Fine and Performing Arts’ 10th anniversary.

Bob Buckner

The event will take place in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The concert also will be a part of the Western North Carolina Bandmasters Association’s All-District Festival, taking place on campus Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb 10.

Shannon Thompson

Three guests are scheduled for the Friday performance. Bob Buckner, retired director of WCU’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band, will conduct Carnival,” written by Paul Basler, a former WCU School of Music faculty member. Andy McMahan, a Bryson City native and WCU alumnus now serving as director of bands at Lamar University in Texas, will conduct “Folk Song Suite” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Shannon Thompson, WCU clarinet professor, will be the featured soloist for Frank Ticheli’s “Clarinet Concerto.” The program also will feature the works of Shelley Hanson, Jodie Blackshaw and Kelly Bennette.

Andy McMahan

Margaret Underwood

For the All-District Festival, WCU will welcome some 400 student musicians in grades seven through 12 from more than 50 regional schools. Students are selected for participation through a rigorous audition process and spend two days on campus rehearsing with guest clinicians. They will present a concert at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Bardo Arts Center to end the band festival. Margaret Underwood, director of bands and associate professor of music, is organizer for the tribute performance and the All-District Festival.

The WCU Wind Ensemble is an auditioned group of musicians performing a challenging repertory that includes premieres of commissioned works. For more information, contact the School of Music at 828-227-7242.