Compositions for Concert Band and Wind Ensemble Offered in Conjunction with “Global Initiative: Africa”

PHOTO: Leon HilfsteinNEWBURGH, N.Y. – Under the theme “From the South: The Folk and Spiritual Sounds of African-American Traditions,” SUNY Orange’s Symphonic Band will open its 2014 African Composers Series at 7 p.m., Friday, March 21 in the OCTC Great Room inside Kaplan Hall on the College’s Newburgh campus.

The program, offered to support the College’s ongoing “Global Initiative: Africa” programming, will feature compositions written exclusively for concert band and wind ensemble. The featured composition will be O’Neal Douglas’ “Harriet,” a symphony in three movements that will receive its first performance in New York State. Douglas’ (below) music has been commissioned and performed by several leading university wind ensembles across the United States and is the recipient of awards from Louisiana Tech University and Michigan State University.

William Grant Still’s “Kaintuck’,” a rhapsody for piano and orchestra composed in 1935 and inspired by a trip through Kentucky (known as the “Bluegrass State”) will receive its first performance in an arrangement for piano and concert band prepared by former SUNY Orange assistant professor Dana Paul Perna, with Leon Hilfstein (right) as soloist. A student of noted pianist Robert Goldsand, Hilfstein is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and also holds master’s degrees in music therapy and public administration from Florida State University. He is renowned in the Hudson Valley as a music director for the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop, as well as for working with various cabaret productions and as an accompanist for numerous All-County and NYSSMA choral groups.

PHOTO: O'Neal DouglasThe remainder of the program will feature Cedric Adderley’s “Indigo Run;” William Owens’ “The Southern Dawn” and “And My Spirit Lives On;” and Ayatey Shabazz’s arrangement of “Let Us Break Bread Together,” which the SUNY Orange Symphonic Band premiered during its 2011 summer season. The Owens selections will be conducted by Kevin Coffey, the band’s resident student conductor, while the remainder of the concert will be conducted by Kevin Scott.

Admission is $5 with SUNY Orange students and active duty military personnel admitted free. The concert is sponsored by the College’s Global Studies Department in conjunction with the Arts and Communication Department.

“Global Initiative: Africa” is a yearlong investigation and celebration of the culture, history, art, music and politics of the countries and peoples of Africa. Through its Global Initiative events and programs, SUNY Orange seeks to expand students’ horizons, bring academic departments together in collaboration and infuse a global perspective on its curriculum. The community is invited to attend any of the College’s Global Initiative events.

The SUNY Orange Symphonic Band, an ensemble comprised of students and members of the community, is under Scott’s direction. For more information, contact the Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4787 or Scott at 341-4393. The band is also seeking musicians who are interested in joining a college-community ensemble.

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