Symphonic Wind Ensemble Marks 125th Chico State Anniversary with "Quasquicentennial" Concert

Promo PhotoCSU, Chico continues its year-long 125th anniversary celebration with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s fall semester concert, aptly titled “Quasquicentennial,” Saturday, November 3rd beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre.

For Quasquicentennial, Chico State’s premier band ensemble will perform music from the past 125 years, noted Director/Conductor Royce Tevis, Department of Music and Theatre faculty member.

“We thought it would be fun to perform music that coincided with Chico State’s quasquicentennial, or its 125th anniversary,” said Tevis.

The Wind Ensemble is the elite performance group of the Chico State band program. Members of the Wind Ensemble are highly select and multitalented musicians who are challenged to create music at the highest of artistic levels. The 48-member group is made up of musicians who play wind and percussion instruments, specifically trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, low-brass instruments — French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, etc. — flute, snare drum, bass drum, cymbal, and timpani.

Joining in the Quasquicentennial celebration will be special guest artists Rocky Winslow, trumpet, and Danielle Silviera, voice.

Winslow, a Department of Music and Theatre faculty member, is described by Tevis as “our trumpeter extraordinaire.” He will be featured in Jean-Baptiste Arban’s Italian folk tune, “Carnival of Venice.”

“Most people know Rocky as the director of the Jazz X-Press, our jazz band,” said Tevis. “They don’t know that before he got into jazz he was a classically trained trumpet player. The piece he will be performing is very challenging — it has a lot of articulation and fast parts with lots of extreme variations. You know you have made it as a trumpet player when you can play this kind of work.”

Silviera, a Chico State voice student, will be featured (without microphone) in two opera arias.

“She definitely has the ‘pipes’ for these works,” noted Tevis. “The audience will love her warm, rich voice.”

Also on tap will be Richard Wagner’s “Huldigungsmarsch,” a composition for band the composer did while he was in a self-imposed exile in Vienna to escape debts and a relationship gone sour.

“Wagner wrote this to honor King Ludwig II, the 19-year old King of Bavaria before he went mad,” said Tevis. “He wanted Wagner to come back to live in Prussia so he got rid of all his debts and set him up in living quarters. He told him he would, ‘Lift life’s menial burdens from your shoulders so that you will be able to unfurl the mighty pinions of your genius.’”

In homage to Halloween, which occurs the Wednesday before the “Quasquicentennial” concert, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform “Incantation and Dance” by John Barnes Chance, a composition about incantations being uttered and spirits being released.

“When the music gets to the part where the spirits arrive, the band lets go with a little craziness — especially the percussion section led by Michael Taylor playing various percussion instruments,” noted Tevis. “They are playing written music but it still sounds pretty chaotic.”

Another interesting work that will be performed is “Scenes from Louvre,” a composition specifically written for an NBC TV special produced in 1964. The composer received an Emmy for the score, which features themes from the Renaissance-era .

“Musically it is an interesting dichotomy between music from the Renaissance period created with a modern sound,” noted Tevis. “Each section of the band is featured independently as well as together.”

Tevis said he and the musicians in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble are looking forward to presenting Quasquicentennial.

“It really represents the music from the different periods of time since our University started — a representation of 125 years of music that would have been played by bands.”

Advance tickets, at $15 adults, $13 senior citizens, and $6 students/children, are available at the University Box Office, 898-6333; add $2 for tickets purchased at the door. For disability-related seating, please call 898-4325.

Historical images courtesy of Special Collections Dept., Meriam Library, CSU, Chico