Tickets are available for purchase in person or online through the Winspear Centre box office.



The University of Alberta Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Band return to the Winspear Centre! Featuring the Canadian premiere performance of Symphony No. 5: Elements by Julie Giroux, this concert also features music by Carl Strommen, Johann Sebastian Bach, Howard Cable, Ola Gjeilo, Leslie Gilreath, and Aaron Perrine.


The University of Alberta Concert Band
Daryl Price, conductor

Carl Strommen (b. 1939)

Fugue a la Gigue
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Arr. Gustav Holst
Sarah Rossi, guest conductor

The Banks of Newfoundland
Howard Cable (1920-2016)

The Spheres
Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978)


The University of Alberta Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Dr. Angela Schroeder, conductor

Fanfare for a Bright New World
Leslie Gilreath (b. 1967)
Meijun Chen, guest conductor

Only Light
Aaron Perrine (b. 1979)

Symphony No. 5: Elements
Julie Giroux (b. 1961)
Canadian Premiere Performance

  1. Sun in C
  2. Rain in Db
  3. Wind in Eb


*denotes section leader

Laurence Espallardo
Jackie Hu
*Kian Merkosky
Kaylee Patuelli-MacLellan
Alex McPhail

*Rianna Burgess

*Shannon Machtans
Daryl Price

Brianna Bolt
Adrian McCurdy
*Justine Dennis
Asha Kucher-Johnson
Macy Pollock
Sarah Rossi
Sydney Waddell

Danielle McAfee
*Melodie Peet
Haley Spector
Amelia McLeod
Lucas Rosen
Kyrstin Ruecker

*Alicia Krips
Catherine Labbe
Ali Nizamani
Bronwen Taylor

Sophia DeBorja
*Sydney Flaherty
Peter Lin
Jordan Nahamko
Hannah Pinault
Matthew Sullivan
Kass Vandermeer

Paxton Atrens
*Yitian Fan
Sabina Fassbender
Isaac Friesen
Brett Merkosky

Rosie Li
*Isye Morland

*Will Gervais

Donna Beniamin
Daniel Berday
Ethan DeSouza
*Will Huy
Jonah Myles Andres
Dexter Lough

String Bass:
Ashley Biddiscombe
*Evan Schollie

Ana Priolo-Marin



Emma Cowie
Laurence Espallardo
*Kassie Bulman / Piccolo
Rebekah Sand
Olivia Mitchell
Lloyd Ramirez
Vanessa Pastor


*Mary Kardash
Shannon Machtans

Mikayla Campbell
Kiara Acuna
Adrian McCurdy - Bcl.
*Asha Kucher-Johnson
Sam Calihoo
Jiyeon Seo
Madisyn Melnyk
Felix Ye
*Gwenyth Delos Santos
Hayley Lacza
Fiona Drews
Unifer Cho
*Gabrielle Varewyck-Dube

Alto Saxophones
Nicholas Pyon
Noah Keizer
Fred Mack
Mina Phillips-Castillo
Tyler Beach
*Dylan Lindsay
Ayden Heal
Amanda Dang
Christina Gillanders
Anabelle Thomas
Jazil Gutierrez
*Annie Lamarre
Cole Reed

Tenor Saxophone
Cynthia Philips
Jann Santiago
Vansa Chang
Ameila McLeod
*Julieta Hernandez

Bari Sax
*Laura Taylor
Shion Hirano

Jordan Nahamko
Mencha Fonji
Jasmine Greenwood
Vivienne Shaw
*Andy Demuynck
Michelle Naef
Angelo Panahon
*Ethan Rahn
Jenna Nickel
Ashlyn Anthony
Klarrenz Santiago
Boris Wala
*Neha Sandhu

*Setareh Rezazadeh
Zachary Champ
Anwyn Neraasen
Jaeeun Jo

Brett Merkosky *
Isaac Friesen
Marcus Wong
Ethan Callaghan
Paxton Atrens

*Nick Froman
Ben Dullaghan

Joseph Erdei
*Jarod Chiasson

Double Bass
Kyle Hollands

Dexter Lough
Ethan DeSouza
Jason Gillanders
*Tristan Lahue
Mikhail Abdulla
Jacob Tanner

Nordanvind By Carl Strommen

Carl Strommen resides with his family on Long Island New York. He attended and graduated from Long Island University (B.A. English Literature) and The City College of New York (M.A, Music) and studied orchestration with Manny Albam and Rayburn Wright and composition with Stefan Wolpe. He is an Adjunct Professor of orchestration/arranging and composition in the Graduate School at Long Island University. 

This piece was written for the Augustana College Concert Band. The Augustana College was founded in 1860 by graduates of Swedish universities, the home of the “Vikings”. Modern Scandinavians are descendants of the Vikings, an adventurous people who were known for their love of the sea, their naval prowess, and as fierce fighters. This piece takes inspiration from Swedish history and from Swedish folk songs and hymns. 

Havsdrake (Dragon of the Sea)

The Nordanvind translates to “North Wind” as it coldly blows during a journey of a group of courageous Viking rowers. The “Dragon-ship” or long ship was designed for raiding and was able to navigate through shallow water quickly. The use of a rain stick, air, and male voices are used to help portray the dark and ominous scene of Viking adventurers.

Slangpolska efter Byss - Kalle

In Sweden, a “polska” is a partner dance where the dances spin each other. This section is attributed to Byss-Kalle, who was a notable Swedish folk musician. Slangpolska efter Byss - Kalle is a traditional “polska” dance song most often played and heard in pubs and festive events throughout Sweden. 

Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara (Children of the Heavenly Father)

Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara is a traditional Swedish melody, possibly of German roots. This hymn was written by Karolina Wihelmina Sandell-Berg. The hymn was created either as a thank you to her father for raising her and protecting her, or as a result of watching the tragic death of her father drown after a wave threw him overboard. This is a treasured song of the Swedish people and it speaks to all about a father tending and nourishing his children, and protecting them from evil.

Fugue a la Gigue by J.S. Bach, Arranged by Gustav Holst

In July 1708, at the age of 23, Bach attained a position in Weimar as Kapellmeister under Duke Wilhelm Ernst where he began his steady output of fugues for which he would later be referred to as “Master of the Fugue.” Bach’s Fugue à la Gigue is based on Bach’s Fugue in G Major [BWV 577], a charming and energetic gigue originally written for organ. 

English composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934) first encountered the fugue as a student and thought the work seemed limited compared to the grandeur and expansiveness of Bach’s other organ fugues. In a 1932 interview Holst said,

“When I was studying organ some forty years ago, it struck me that of all Bach’s organ works, just one, this fugue, seemed ineffective on the instrument for which it was composed. . . . I made no attempt to orchestrate it at the time, but when the British Broadcasting Corporation requested me to write a large work for their military band, I decided to get my hand in—not having written for band for several years—by scoring Fugue à la Gigue before attacking my own work, which was to be the Prelude and Scherzo Hammersmith.”

Holst himself gave the title Bach’ s Fugue à la Gigue to the work, but was careful not to give a false impression. On the title page of the score he wrote, “The title ‘Fugue à la Gigue’ describes the work perfectly, but there is no reason to think that it was so named by Bach.” The work was completed in May 1928 and was premiered later that summer by the BBC Wireless Military Band with Holst conducting.

The Banks of Newfoundland by Howard Cable

Howard Cable (1920-2016) was a Canadian composer, arranger and conductor. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1999 in recognition of his tremendous contribution to the Canadian Music Industry. After completing studies in Toronto under Sir Ernest MacMillan and Healy Willan, Cable began a career composing, arranging and conducting radio dramas and variety programs for the CBC.

The Banks of Newfoundland is a revision of his Newfoundland Rhapsody of the 1950s. It contains eight great tunes in a colourful and wildly modulatory setting. A collection of well loved folk songs from eastern Canada. Soaring solos, technical woodwind lines and colourful percussion writing make this a classic for wind band. 

Songs have helped people pass the time while doing the tedious tasks of their everyday life. These tunes enabled a sense of community with their coworkers and added a rhythm to their tasks. Sailors and fishermen used songs and shanties to “keep time” when pulling lines, raising sails and anchors, or manning the bilge pumps. They also provided entertainment with stories of the weather, good or bad fortune, conquests, and their ladies. Howard Cable has arranged eight popular sea songs and ballads into his The Banks of Newfoundland.

“We’ll Rant and We’ll Roar Like True Newfoundlanders is the island’s theme tune. The words were written in 1880 and set to an English air. The Sailing Cruise of the Lone Flier is considered to be one of the finest airs in the dorian mode. Variants have been found in several states in the USA. Petty Harbour Bait Skiff marks a tragedy at sea. It is a composed folk song by a national bard, John Grace, written in the late 19th century. The Badger Drive, composed by the bard John Devine, celebrated the winter months, when fishermen left their nets to work in logging camps in the interior. The Wreck of the H’Emmer Jane is known by more titles and carries more verses than most folk songs. In the United States, it is the famous 49’rs song Sweet Betsy from Pike. Up the Pond is known as the tune played for the August Regatta Day in St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland. This event began in the mid 19th century. In a march tempo, it is the regimental march of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. I’se the B’y is the most popular square dance, foot stompin’ song on the island. The Kelligrew’s Soiree is a much loved land song, written by the bard Johnny Burke around 1910.” 

The Spheres by Ola Gjeilo

Ola Gjeilo was born in Norway in 1978 and moved to the United States in 2001 where he studied at the Juilliard School in New York City in composition. Gjeilo is one of the most frequently performed composers in the choral world. Having the United States become a huge influence within his writing that is often described as cinematic and evocative, with a lush, harmonious sound. 

This evocative work has been adapted for wind band from the composer’s mass entitled Sunrise for choir and string orchestra. Built around a five-note theme is a fade-in fade-out effect that gives a sense of floating in space as if surrounded by stars and planets.

Fanfare for A Bright, New World by Leslie Gilreath

Leslie Gilreath is a native of Anderson, South Carolina and a 1990 graduate of Furman University, where he studied conducting and orchestration with Jay Bocook.  He also studied composition and orchestration with Michael Hennagin and Carolyn Bremer at the University of Oklahoma. Having grown up with a love of music deeply rooted in his high school band and church experiences, he spent his childhood and young adulthood immersed in playing the piano and saxophone and conducting both his high school and college marching bands. 

He is in his twenty-fourth year in education and his eighteenth year as the Director of Bands at Summerville High School in Summerville, South Carolina where The Summerville Ensembles receive consistent superior ratings and have been featured at SCMEA and MENC Southern Division Conferences. He has been the recipient of Citations of Excellence and Citations of Merit for Marching Excellence from the National Band Association and is in demand as a composer and arranger. Mr. Gilreath is a National Board Certified Teacher, the 2011 Summerville High School Teacher of the Year and a Dorchester District Honor Teacher of the Year. He was named the Phi Beta Mu Theta Chapter 2019 Outstanding Bandmaster and a 2019 Laureate of the John Philip Sousa Foundation's "Legion of Honor." 

Mr. Gilreath remains an active arranger for the marching arts and is, as of 2020, the brass arranger for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps of Denver Colorado.  He continues as owner of NIGHTMUSIK.COM, an arranging and consultation website and consultation service for marching bands.

(From the composer:)

“Dedicated to commemorate the selection of my dear friend, Dr. Sue Samuels as the new Director of Bands at our Alma Mater, Furman University. Fanfare for a Bright, New World is a bright, uplifting, face-paced, forever-changing, challenging work that seeks to paint a musical picture of optimism and hope for a bright new world.” This is a fanfare of rhythmic excitement, flowing lyricism, and nods to the music of John Adams.

Only Light by Aaron Perrine

With works in a variety of genres, Aaron Perrine’s music has been performed by some of the leading ensembles and soloists across the United States and beyond. He is a two-time winner of the American Bandmasters Association Sousa/Ostwald Award for his compositions: Only Light in 2015 and Pale Blue on Deep in 2013. Only Light—commissioned by the University of Iowa Symphony Band, Richard Mark Heidel, conductor—was included on the latest University of Kansas Wind Ensemble recording (Of Shadow and Light, Klavier). Another one of his compositions—Temperance—recently won the 2017 CBDNA Young Band Composition Contest. His music for winds has also been featured at the 2017 CBDNA National Conference, multiple regional CBDNA Conferences, The Midwest Clinic, The Western International Band Clinic, and at numerous all-state, state conference and honor band concerts.

Perrine’s music for saxophone has also received many notable performances. Primal—for saxophone quartet—was performed at the 2014 NASA Biennial Conference in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, and the 2012 World Saxophone Congress XVI in St. Andrews, Scotland. Bridge Suite—for alto saxophone and cello—was performed at the 2012 NASA Biennial Conference in Tempe, Arizona. This past summer, It Has to Be Beautiful, a concerto for alto saxophone and wind ensemble, was premiered by Kenneth Tse with the Symphonic Wind Orchestra of Croatian Armed Forces at the 2018 World Saxophone Congress, in Zagreb, Croatia.

In addition to composing, Perrine is an active conductor and educator. He has conducted a variety of honor bands, with his most recent appearance being the 2018 All-Iowa 8th Grade Honor Band. Future conducting engagements include the 2021 South Dakota All-State Band. He is currently on the faculty at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

Perrine has received degrees from the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota, Morris. For more information, please visit aaronperrine.com.

(From the composer:)

 “The melodic material for Only Light originally came from Beneath a Canvas of Green, a recently composed large-scale work of mine written for wind ensemble.At the time, I was not quite comfortable with how this music fit within the larger work (it passed by much too quickly), and I knew it was something I would eventually like to revisit.

During the next few years, I was moved by two friends' display of strength and courage through adversity.Through these experiences, I was reminded of how delicate life is, and how things can change at a moment's notice. Reflecting upon these events inspired me to expand and ultimately finish this previously composed music. Only Light is meant to convey a sense of hope and healing.”

Symphony No. V: Elements by Julie Giroux

Julie Ann Giroux was born 1961 in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and Monroe, Louisiana. She received her formal education from Louisiana State University and Boston University. She studied composition with John Williams, Bill Conti and Jerry Goldsmith, to name a few. Julie is an accomplished performer on piano and horn, but her first love is composition. She began playing the piano at the age of three and had published her first piece at the age of nine. 

In 1985, she began composing, orchestrating and conducting music for television and films. Within three hours after arriving in Los Angeles, she was at work on the music for the Emmy Award winning mini-series North and South, followed soon by work on the television series Dynasty and The Colbys, as well as the films Karate Kid II, White Men Can’t Jump, and Broadcast News. She received her first Emmy nomination in 1988 for North and South Part II - Love and War, and over the next three years was nominated each year for her arranging and original compositions for the Academy Awards show. To date, Julie has well over 100 film and television credits and has been nominated for an Emmy several times. When she won her first Emmy Award, she was the first woman and the youngest person ever to wind the award in that category. Julie has also been privileged to arrange for Celine Dion, Paula Abdul, Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, Madonna, Reba McEntire, Little Richard, Billy Crystal, Michael Jackson and many others. 

Julie is an extremely well rounded composer, writing works for symphony orchestra (including chorus), chamber ensembles, wind ensembles, soloists, brass and woodwind quintets and many other serious and commercial formats. She began writing music for concert band in 1983, publishing her first band work Mystery on Mena Mountain with Southern Music Company. Since that time, she has composed and published numerous works for professional wind ensembles, military bands, colleges and public schools and has conducted her music in clinics worldwide. She is also a very well received speaker and clinician, Julie is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). 

(Program notes provided by the composer)

I. SUN in C

 Before composing “Sun” I researched all the science I could concerning the sun's age, projected life span, atomic makeup, flares, and other interesting facts. Formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago and with approximately that many years left, the sun is a radioactive middle aged ball of hot plasma comprised of 73% hydrogen and 25% helium. Once the sun's hydrogen fusion core diminishes to a critical level, the sun will go from being a classified G-type star referred to as a yellow dwarf to being a Red Giant and will render Earth uninhabitable roughly 5 billion years from now.

The opening of “Sun” actively describes the dynamo process of constant motion in and on the sun. Broken motifs are stated, changed, repeated and grow with strength of numbers and dynamics for 59 quickly paced measures ending in the first sunrise witnessed by earth represented by a huge open fifth C chord which is neither major or minor as there are no 3rds. In my mind, I did not see the sun as good or evil – just existing – thus no major or minor overtones. The middle section of “Sun” depicts the sun more as a sentient being with the music showing the loneliness of floating in space for billions of years; the monotony and perhaps the unavoidable onset of insanity and depression such existence would impose on a human as a soulless planet. The sun is then musically devoured by the chemical reactions and builds back up into another huge chord, but this chord is a C Major chord, representing the joy of life that the Earth enjoys, for without the sun, life on earth would not exist. After that chord the music captures the magnificent power of the sun with huge bold chords surrounded by an arsenal of 32nd notes in the woodwinds and keyboards representing the artificial life of the sun and is meant to sound like the artificial synthesized music sounds and textures of the late 1980- 1990's electronic instruments.

The miracle of the sun ends the work with another, final massive C Major chord.

*As a side note, when I was actively composing and trying to create the feel of oppressive heat,  I would always picture in my mind the desert scenes from “Lawrence of Arabia.” I always felt like that movie captured the power of the unrelenting sun and heat better than any other motion picture.

II. Rain in D flat

The opening of the second movement is my attempt at rain. Literally. The orchestration has the woodwinds and sparse melodic percussion playing notes randomly, both in rhythm and pitch, representing individual raindrops. Solo instruments are added to the random rain and over the course of 37 measures the entire wind ensemble is added. In measure 38, the raindrops become no longer random, but musically part of each chord in passing. The whole opening section represents a light, random rain.

The middle section of “Rain” features 2 bassoons, 1 contrabassoon and piano. It is a representation of the melancholy that comes with rain. The music then builds into a huge downpour, represented by the movement’s main theme. It is big and full, but every once in a while, one measure drops down considerably in both volume and personnel which represents the contrast between looking out at a downpour or staring at individual rain drops on the ground or in your hand.

The middle main theme winds down, dropping down in orchestration to a “twinkling” magical piano and melodic percussion section. This represents the miracle of life water gives to all living things on Earth, without which, life would not survive. This section then grows into a recap of the main theme which gradually reduces to a light, slumber-inviting drizzle ending the movement.

*The “randomness” of raindrops is written out to insure even distribution of the “drops” without leaving that distribution to chance by simply providing the written instruction “play randomly.”*

III. Wind in E flat

Starting with a lone Bassoon 1 held note, Mother Nature spins a small breeze with the flutes and clarinets. The technical runs which are used throughout the entire movement have built-in motion with up and down movements, many of which happen in each small statement in each instrument. The first wind blows itself out in measure 31 with a crescendo and flourish of notes. In measure 32 the wind starts again with a more devious nature. This wind also winds down but instead of stopping completely, is lightly formed into a magical breeze, like that on a beautiful, deserted island or the winds that Peter Pan soars upon.

Measures 90 to 124 represents such a wind beginning with, again, the magic “twinkling” of melodic percussion. Jazzy woodwinds are added to the “twinkling” magic with fluid solos in the Alto Saxophone, B-flat Clarinet 1 and French Horn, representing a perfect breeze playing across bare flesh. This is the first “revisit” of a theme from a previous moment but only in orchestration here, not thematically.

Measure 125, sub-headed “Storm Brewing,” is exactly that. It starts out small, but takes on immense power which abruptly stops. A percussion feature section takes over with driving rhythms and solos. The rest of the wind ensemble is added gradually and quickly grows into a huge tornado which just as quickly disappears. At first it feels like we have escaped the full force of wind but then it hits with hurricane force music which drives relentlessly to the end. There is a recap of the main thematic material of “Sun” woven into the wind theme. The tornado is not only represented in the audio of this movement, but visually in the score as well.

Music News

Past Concerts

You can watch past Virtual Prism recorded concerts on the Faculty of Arts YouTube channel

Alumni Weekend Concert
October 2, 2021

Stand Alone Violin Part II
June 11, 2021

Dreams and Fantasies for Clarinet and Piano
May 28, 2021

Trombone Romances
May 14, 2021

The Jealous Cellist
May 7, 2021

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