SWOSU Wind Ensemble to Present Regional Premiere of Gillingham Piece


The Southwestern Oklahoma State University Wind Ensemble will feature the regional premiere of Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble at a concert on Sunday, April 22, on the Weatherford campus.

The concert will be at 3 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium. Admission is free, and the public is invited.

The Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble by American composer David Gillingham will feature soloist David Bessinger, assistant professor of percussion at SWOSU. The concert will be conducted by Dr. James South, director of bands at SWOSU. SWOSU Piano Professor Dr. James Breckenridge will also assist in the performance by playing the piano part, which Gillingham uses as a part of the percussion section.

Two years ago, SWOSU received an invitation to participate in the commissioning of the concerto.  SWOSU became a part of the consortium of 27 universities and soloists that paid for the creation of the work.  As a way of recognizing the contributions that led to the composition of the concerto, the names of the consortium members, soloists, and conductors will be printed in the published score when it is released next year.

“The first performance of a new work is always a thrilling moment,” South said of the concert.  “The students are excited about the prospect of performing with Mr. Bessinger, who is a phenomenal soloist, and they really like the way the concerto sounds.”  

Bessinger has enjoyed learning the new concerto, although he says “it has been a challenging piece to work on, and requires a high degree of virtuosity and musicianship.”

The concert will also include Blue Shades by Frank Ticheli; Ballet Music from Faust by Charles Gounod; Heartsongs by David Maslanka; Old Churches by Michael Colgrass; Trauersinfonie by Richard Wagner; George Washington Bicentennial March by John Philip Sousa; and the world premiere of Jubilation! by SWOSU student and Wind Ensemble member Nathan Rapson.

The Wind Ensemble is the top band at SWOSU and has a long tradition of excellence in performance.  The band has performed by invitation four times in the past nine years at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association convention in Tulsa. 

Ensemble members include:  Flute: Mollie Baker, Canadian TX; Megan Blevins, Bartlesville; Kimberly Butler, Duncan; Amanda Clevenger, Henrietta TX; Bethany Crittendon, Elgin; and Amanda Desadier, Walters. Oboe: Michael DePew, Mustang; and Megan Lee, Enid.  Clarinet: Diana Flood, Altus; Katy Gaither, Norman; Rayanna Hosokawa, Azle, TX; Ben Patterson, Coweta; and Michael Utesch, Moore. Bass Clarinet: Madison Merrill, Cordell; and Ingrid Simmons, Weatherford.   

Also, Bassoon:  Brittany DeLao,Altus; and Sarah Stevens,Owasso.  Saxophones:  Thomas Burns, Altus; Adriel Reynolds, Lawton; Carl Spaeth, Harrah; and Amy Schmidt, Bartlesville. Horn: James Edwards. Plainview TX; Stephen Gooch, Hinton; A.J. Powell, Altus; and Tom Rady, Altus. Trumpet: Aaron Daniels, Altus; Daisy Garcia, Plainview TX; Drey Hawkins, Mountain View; Travis Henson, Yukon; Nicholas Lindley, Cordell; and Keith Medders, Grove. Trombone: Braden Boily, Enid;  David Hagan, Ochelata; Nathan Rapson, Del City; Michael Tidwell, Lawton; and Sean Wright, Oklahoma City. Euphonium: Aaron Beach, Bartlesville; Jason Johnston, Oklahoma City; and Paul Merkey, Hobart. Tuba: Lane Folds, Duncan; Craig Krieger, Hinton; and Daniel Soto, Lawton. Percussion:  Jonathan Anzaldua, Tulia TX; Enid Hennen, Tecumseh; Karl Kirch, Oklahoma City; Jeff McCoy, Sand Springs; Tyler Paul, White Deer TX; and Erich Spaeth, Harrah.