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A violin soloist, two guest conductors, the performance of a march used as East Central University's first school song and the presentation of the prestigious Saied Awards will be part of the concert Thursday [APRIL 30] of the ECU Symphonic Band and the select Wind Ensemble.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Summers Theatre. Admission is free.

The outstanding freshman, sophomore, junior and senior in band will receive Saied Awards established by the late James Saied, founder of the Saied Music Company in Tulsa.

Violinist Susan Wooley, an adjunct faculty member who teaches string methods and violin, will be the soloist for the "Theme from Schindler's List" by John Williams. "Schindler's List" is the biographical film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than 1,000 Polish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories.

Williams has said the film's story offered an opportunity to create not only dramatic music, but themes that reflected the more tender and nostalgic aspects of Jewish life during those turbulent years. For this part of the soundtrack he featured a solo violin.

"It is rare to have solo violin with wind ensemble. There is very little music written for the combination," said conductor Allen Correll, ECU band director.

The work was premiered for concert band as part of the 205th anniversary concert of the United States Marine Band in July 2003 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Woolley has a degree in violin performance from the University of Tulsa and has performed with ensembles and symphony orchestras in Tulsa and Fort Smith, Ark. She was featured recently on the music accompanying "The Death of the Old West" documentary about the Ada hangings which aired on OETA public television.

Two guest conductors will join Correll on the program, Frank Zugelder, an adjunct instructor at ECU and retired band director at McAlester High School, and Bronson Warren, ECU dean of students and enrollment management and former Ada High School band director. All are members of the Oklahoma Bandmasters Hall of Fame.

Zugelder will conduct the Symphonic Band in "God of Our Fathers" by George Warren. It is one of several sacred arrangements by Claude T. Smith and has been in strong demand since 1974. The hymn appears in several settings through the band in both major and minor keys.

Warren will conduct the Wind Ensemble in "American Overture" by Joseph Willcox Jenkins. It was written for the U.S. Army Field Band in 1956 and borders on the folk tune idiom. The work calls for near-virtuoso playing by several sections, especially the French horns, and is a favorite of university bands.

Also on the program are:

  • "On the Mall" by Dr. Edwin Franko Goldman, a march that encourages the audience to sing along and then whistle along at the trio. It was written in 1923 for the dedication of the Elkan Naumburg Bandshell in New York's Central Park. The title is derived from the park's spacious mall where the bandstand is located. The march was also used as the school song for ECU after 1938 until it was replaced by the current school song in the late 1950s, Correll said.
  • The lively and energetic Overture to Gordon Jacob's "Music for a Festival," commissioned by the Arts Council of Great Britain for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
  • "American Anthem" by Gene Scheer, which was featured throughout Ken Burns' 2007 PBS documentary, "The War." It was performed for President and Mrs. Clinton for the introduction of the "Save America's Treasures" effort, at the National Prayer Service following the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the request of President and Mrs. Bush, and at the 2005 inauguration of President Bush.
  • The Allegro, first movement, of Mozart's "Serenade in C minor, KV388," considered by many to be an example of early wind band music. It was written on the request of Emperor Joseph II in Austria whose example soon was followed by many of Austria's higher nobility who founded similar "harmoniemusicks" or wind bands. Performing will be Rebekah Unruh and Ashley Branscum, flute; Whitlee Freeman and Anne Capshaw, oboe; Nathaniel Sheeley and Kayla Franco, clarinet; Derek Akers and Riley Robertson, French horn; and Erica Phillips and Dr. Mark Hollingsworth, bassoon.
  • "Rocky Point Holiday" by Ron Nelson, an exciting virtuoso work representative of a great number of American compositions which unite elements of jazz and classical construction into a new indigenous American style.
  • "Barnum and Bailey's Favorite" by Karl Lawrence King, written for the 32-piece Barnum and Bailey Circus Band in 1913. The march was performed by the East Central Music Festival Band on the campus in 1940 with the composer conducting. In a 1980 international music survey, the march ranked fourth in the top 140 marches.

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