Arts & Culture

UK Wind Symphony Celebrates ‘American Landscape’ of Music

photo of mountain landscape
photo of Jim Stephenson with music scattered before him
headshot photo of Cody Birdwell
headshot of Scott Wright with clarinet
headshot photo of Kaitlin Bove with conducting baton
headshot photo of Cynthia Lawrence

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2018) The University of Kentucky Wind Symphony will present its second program of the season 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at Singletary Center for the Arts. Conductor Cody Birdwell leads this elite ensemble of talented musicians in another featured performance celebrating the UK School of Music's 100 year anniversary.

The concert is titled “American Landscapes” and features five varied and challenging works by American composers spanning the last hundred years of wind band repertoire. The concert begins with Morton Gould's patriotic “American Salute.” This fantasia on the Civil War song, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” was originally written for a radio broadcast in early World War II.

The second selection, “Vientos y Tangos,” is New Englander Michael Gandolfi's examination of the Argentinian tango. This lively selection features many solos and duets and may just have the audience dancing in their seats.

To conclude the first half, the ensemble will accompany UK Associate Professor of Clarinet Scott Wright as he performs the meditative Clarinet Concerto “Nikudim” by Jewish-American composer Jonathan Leshnoff. The piece explores the shape of sound and the wind player's connection to his or her instrument.

The second half of the program will begin with Vincent Persichetti's classic “Divertimento for Band,” conducted by doctoral teaching assistant Kaitlin Bove. The six-movement “Divertimento” was originally designed as an orchestral piece but became Persichetti's first work for band when he neglected to leave room in the work for orchestral strings.

The concert will conclude with Jim Stephenson's monumental Symphony No. 2 "Voices." Originally commissioned by the United States Marine Band, the large-scale work explores the human voice and all of its meaningful uses. Joining the Wind Symphony will be soprano and UK endowed chair, Professor of Voice Cynthia Lawrence, delivering a haunting and seamless voice solo throughout the symphony. The band thanks Stephenson for his insight and feedback in their clinic with the composer earlier this week in preparation for the performance.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $5 for students and are available through the Singletary Center ticket office during operating hours, by phone at 859-257-4929 or online at A fee and sales tax will be added to the transaction upon purchase. UK students may pick up their FREE admission ticket by 5 p.m. today (Friday), Oct. 19.

The UK School of Music, currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, and theory and music history.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue