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West County Winds concert Dec. 7

Wind Ensemble sketches American musical portraits

West County Winds, a community wind ensemble, will perform its winter concert on Monday, December 7, at 8:00 pm in the Knox Center for the Performing Arts Auditorium at Contra Costa College. The concert will include the “Candide Suite” by Leonard Bernstein, “American Elegy” by Frank Ticheli, a piece which incorporates the alma mater he wrote for Columbine High School after the tragedy, and “Russian Christmas Music,” by Alfred Reed. Admission to the concert is free but limited seating is available. A reception will be held in the lobby after the concert so that audience members can meet the musicians.

The “Candide Suite” is a delightful work for concert band based on Leonard Bernstein’s well-known operetta of the same name. It provides an opportunity to hear a number of the memorable themes from the show beyond its famous overture. The ensemble displays another musical facet in American composer Alfred Reed’s “Russian Christmas Music,” a piece which reflects its lyrical origins in Eastern Orthodox liturgical music.

Los Angeles composer Frank Ticheli is also represented on the program in his arrangement of “Amazing Grace.” Ron Nelson’s energetic and evocative “Rocky Point Holiday” rounds out the program.

Rice Majors, musical director of West County Winds, has a B.A. in music from Cornell University, and has conducted a wide variety of choruses, bands, and orchestras. He has performed with the San Francisco Concert Chorale, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Rose City Gay Freedom Band, Syracuse Opera, Ithaca Opera, and the Cornell Savoyards. Rice also serves on the board of directors for the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) and recently served as the artistic director for LGBA’s involvement in Barack Obama’s inauguration parade.

The assistant conductor for West County Winds is Sue Crum. Sue joined West County Winds in the fall of 2005 after moving to California with her husband. Sue earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Education Administration at the University of Idaho. She has taught elementary instrumental music in Cleveland, Ohio, Boise, Idaho and Albany, California. Sue has performed with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Traverse City, Michigan, the Boise Philharmonic and the Boise Opera Orchestra in Boise, Idaho. Sue has been performing and teaching music for over 20 years and currently has an active private music studio in El Cerrito.

West County Winds provides an artistic outlet open to all adult players of concert band instruments. The band has been delighting audiences since 1985, growing over the years and now performing in a variety of musical styles ranging from classical pieces to contemporary and popular music. The band usually produces two or three concerts per year in the fall and spring seasons and has performed at civic events throughout Contra Costa County. The band is sponsored by Contra Costa College (CCC) and is offered as a non-credit tuition-free course in the college’s Adult Outreach Program. Students at CCC can take the class for credit with Music Department approval.

For more information about the band, please visit our website at http://westcountywinds.org/

Run dates: 2009-11-15 - 2009-12-07

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