The Weber State University Wind Ensemble started its concert year with a diverse group of musicians, including the Northridge High School Band and non-music major wind ensemble members.
Thomas Root, a WSU professor of music for 28 years, said he is dedicated to education and outreach within the arts on local and national levels. As a member and former president of the College Band Directors National Association Western Division, he works to partner with high schools and colleges for more program exposure and a cohesive musical experience.
Root said he was particularly pleased with this group’s performance.
“The concert went amazingly well last evening, a real tribute to the quality of our Weber State instrumental musicians,” he said. “We played an extremely difficult program, and I was very pleased with the outcome . . . the wind ensemble played with great intensity.”
WSU’s outreach also includes musicians who are non-music majors, like Cara Richardson.
” . . . The band program offers generous scholarships that help pay for school,” Richardson said. “I am a math major.”
Richardson said she enjoys her time with the band and works hard to play just as well as any of the music majors.
“My favorite part about band is performing,” she said. “I try to push myself to improve every day, and I love the satisfaction that comes after a good performance. I love working together with my section and the rest of the ensemble. The people in band are awesome!”
Among Richardson’s favorite pieces of their first performance was “Zion.”
“It’s about the people who have lived in Utah and the hardships and successes that they have had,” Richardson said. “The music has a wonderful balance between tension and beauty. I love music that tells a story.”
Austin Rushton, a freshman saxophonist, said he enjoys performing with the wind ensemble.
“I get to play with such high-caliber musicians regularly,” he said. “I never take for granted that every musician in there can play all of their parts artistically and expressively.”
Taylor Arnold, a bassoonist, said he loved the “Soleriana” piece because it highlights the bassoon, an instrument he believes is often overlooked.
“The bassoon plays a lot when no one else is playing,” Arnold said, “so we can actually be heard.”
Arnold is also one of the ensemble members who benefit from the program’s open-audition policy.
Kyle Larson, the principle trombone for the group, said he is in favor of the outreach toward all musicians.
“The wind ensemble is an audition-only group,” Larson said, “meaning you get the best of the best players in this school. And it really shows. Every single member is a fantastic player and can play their instrument with such precision.”
The WSU Wind Ensemble’s next concert will be on April 4, in conjunction with the Low Brass Festival, featuring euphonist Jason Ham as a guest artist.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the lobby of the Browning Center for the Performing Arts or online at www.weberstatetickets.com.