Dallas—On Sunday afternoon, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra transported its audience to the American West, performing works with a western flair at the Meyerson Symphony Center. While certainly not an adventurous program in terms of musical content, the audience was treated to a few unfamiliar works by mostly 20th-century American composers.
Wind ensembles have a knack for presenting newer works by active composers without attracting a lot of critical attention. The wind “sound” and expectations of new works may be different than when compared with an orchestra’s, but ensembles shy of presenting newer music should pay attention. The concert began and ended with music arranged for winds from two classic western movies: How the West Was Won and Silverado. LSWO Music Director and Conductor Eugene Migliaro Corporon led an energetic rendition of these familiar tunes.
The inner part of the program consisted of a variety of pieces which depict scenes from New Mexico and Colorado to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Particularly beautiful was Mark Camphouse’s Yosemite Autumn which in name and sound easily resembles Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring with its open sonorities and circular structure. While a bit more variety of sound and careful dynamic planning would have been welcome, the music was pleasant enough to maintain interest.
Ron Nelson’s Aspen Jubilee included an extended vocalise, beautifully sung by soprano Jennifer Ciobanu.
After intermission, a welcome change in timbre came in a performance of Greg Gilpin’s arrangement of O Shenandoah sung by the Prosper High School Varsity Mixed Choir, directed by Connie Miserak. The young group had an excellent presence in the hall, warm and inviting.
The highlight of the program was the performance of Roshanne Etezady’s Points of Departure featuring Ciobanu singing a different theatrical role for each movement. Tied together by the theme of travel, Ciobanu’s charming depiction of a travel agent, teenage driver, aspiring pilot, and cruise ship entertainer was a delight.
The audience consisted of many young persons, most of which looked to be on an outing arranged by schools. Although this meant a slightly noisier listening environment, it is always good to see a music organization actively bringing in young audiences.