Minnesota Symphonic Winds to perform in Spring Lake Park

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

The Minnesota Symphonic Winds will perform at Spring Lake Park High School the afternoon of March 5.

The ensemble, in its 39th year, is a 90-member, Twin Cities-based adult concert band under the direction of Timothy Mahr, who also serves as the conductor of the St. Olaf Band.

For the March 5 performance, entitled “Old Friends, New Memories,” Matthew Wanken will pick up the baton as guest conductor. Wanken currently teaches in the St. Olaf College music department.

The concert opens with Michael Markowski’s “joyRIDE,” a modern take on Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” Markowski wrote the piece as a senior in high school and revised it in the years that followed.

Composer Aaron Perrine’s “Only Light” takes things down a notch dynamically, but the piece is emotionally charged. “Only Light” was written “to convey a sense of hope and healing” after Perrine watched two of his friends preserve through adversity, according to the composer’s website.

Matthew Wanken is the guest conductor of the Minnesota Symphonic Winds. Photo submitted
Matthew Wanken is the guest conductor of the Minnesota Symphonic Winds. Photo submitted

Syncopation is the name of the game in Frank Ticheli’s “Blue Shades,” which is followed by the more traditional “English Folk Song Suite” by Ralph Vaughn Williams.

The penultimate selection is a unique arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Prelude and Fuge in G Minor.” The piece is based on an organ choral prelude and fugue, “Fervent is My Longing” and “The Little Fugue,” respectively.

The finale is a showstopping rendition of Leonard Bernstein’s “Slava!”

The free concert begins at 3 p.m. in the Spring Lake Park High School Fine Arts Center, 1100 81st Ave. NE, Spring Lake Park.

For more information, visit www.mswinds.org, call 612-567-9463 of find the ensemble on Facebook and Twitter.

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