University of Alberta Symphonic Wind Ensemble: The State of the World

Student & Senior | $10
Adult | $20

Advance tickets are available for purchase two weeks prior to the concert date through the Timms Box Office | Timms Centre for the Performing Arts, 112 Street & 87 Avenue.  

  • in person | Tuesday & Thursday, 11:00am – 2:00pm
  • by phone | 780.492.2495
  • online

At the Door (cash or card).

This concert is being livestreamed (see link in tab below).

University of Alberta Symphonic Wind Ensemble: The State of the World

November 18, 2022
7:30 PM | Convocation Hall

Under the direction of: Dr. Angela Schroeder

Featuring works by: Karel Husa | Leonard Bernstein | John Mackey | Paul Hindemith | Jonathan Dagenais

The featured piece of the evening's concert is Music for Prague 1968, written by Karel Husa in response to the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968, as a statement on the current invasion of Ukraine.

This concert is a part of the Department of Music's 2022-2023 "Department of Music Presents" Series.

Overture to Candide  |  Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)

Transcribed. Clare Grundman

  • Dr. William Street  |  guest conductor

This Cruel Moon  |  John Mackey (b. 1953)

  • Meijun Chen  |  guest conductor
March from Symphonic Metamorphosis  |  Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)

Transcribed. Keith Wilson


Mouvement Frénétique  |  Jonathan Dagenais (b. 1978)

Music for Prague 1968  |  Karel Husa (1921-2016)

  1. Introduction and Fanfare
  2. Aria
  3. Interlude
  4. Toccata and Chorale

Overture to Candide

Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1918 and died in New York City in 1990. He is considered to be the first internationally-known musician to be entirely the product of American schooling and was one of the few composers equally at home in the popular theater and concert hall. He studied at Harvard University and Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. His teachers included Walter Piston for composition and Serge Koussevitsky and Fritz Reiner for conducting. In 1942 he became Koussevitsky’s assistant at the Berkshire Music Center, and in 1957 he became Koussevitsky’s assistant at the Berkshire Music Center, and in 1957 he became assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. In 1969 he succeeded Dmitri Mitropoulos as music director. Bernstein wrote music for orchestra, chorus, music theater, movies, and television. He was also well known for his many recordings and his tireless efforts on the behalf of young conductors and composers around the world.

Although his adaptation of Voltaire’s Candide would prove to be one of Bernstein’s most successful works for the musician stage (along with On the Town (1944) and West Side Story (1957)), it actually ran fewer than eighty performances when it opened on Broadway on December 1, 1956. The piece is an overture-style work that states several of the main themes of the songs found in Candide. It received its first concert performance in 1957 by the New York Philharmonic with Bernstein conducting and has been a favorite of American audiences ever since. It is performed often in both its original orchestra version and in this band arrangement.

(Note from Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Volume 1)

This Cruel Moon

John Mackey (he/him) has written for orchestras (Brooklyn Philharmonic, New York Youth Symphony), theater (Dallas Theater Center), and extensively for dance (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Parsons Dance Company, New York City Ballet), but the majority of his work for the past decade has been for wind ensembles (the fancy name for concert bands), and his band catalog now receives annual performances numbering in the thousands. In 2014, he became the youngest composer ever inducted into the American Bandmasters Association. In 2018, he received the Wladimir & Rhoda Lakond Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He resides in San Francisco, California, with his spouse, a philosopher who works on the ethics of technology, and also titles all of his pieces; and their cats, Noodle and Bloop.

This piece is an adaptation of the middle movement of “Wine-Dark Sea: Symphony for Band.” The full symphony tells the tale of Odysseus and his journey home following his victory in the Trojan War. But Odeysseus’ journey would take as long as the war itself. Homer called the ocean on which Odysseus sailed a wine-dark sea, and for the Greek king it was as murky and disorienting as its name; he would not find his way across it without first losing himself.

“This Cruel Moon” is the song of the beautiful and immortal nymph Kalypso, who finds Odysseus near death, washed up on the shore of the island where she lives all alone. She nurses him back to health, and sings as she moves back and forth with a golden shuttle at her loom. Odysseus shares her bed; seven years pass. The tapestry she began when she nursed him becomes a record of their love.

But one day Odysseus remembers his home. He tells Kalypso he wants to leave her, to return to his wife and son. He scoffs at all she has given him. Kalypso is heartbroken.

And yet, that night, Kalypso again paces at her loom. She unravels her tapestry and weaves it into a sail for Odysseus. In the morning, she shows Odysseus a raft, equipped with the sail she has made and stocked with bread and wine, and calls up a gentle and steady wind to carry him home. Shattered, she watches him go; he does not look back.

(Program Notes from the Score)

March from Symphonic Metamorphosis

Paul Hindemith was born on November 16, 1895 in Hanau, Germany. He began to show interest in music at the age of nine by studying the violin, and at fourteen he entered the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. By the time Hindemith was twenty, he was concertmaster of the Frankfurt Opera, and he also played viola in various string quartets. As a composer, he joined the modern movement and was an active participant in the contemporary music concerts at Donaueschingen. From 1927 to 1937 Hindemith taught at Berlin School of Music, after which, due to conditions surrounding World War II, he migrated to the United States. Hindemith promoted the philosophy in composition of Gebrauchsmusik - music for practical use rather than music for art’s sake, and he was concerned with the furtherance of active music-making among amateurs, a movement called Hausmusik. From 1940 to 1953, Hindemith was a member of the Yale University School of Music faculty. He wrote music of all types for all instrumental combinations, including a series of sonatas for each orchestral instrument with piano.

(Note from Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Volume 2)

Paul Hindemith composed Symphonic Metamorphosis during his American exile (1940–1953). With its powerful and outward-looking texture, the work reveals the composer's identification with the ideals of his new homeland. Hindemith uses themes by Carl Maria von Weber, which he develops and changes beyond recognition. The arrangement for wind band, written shortly after the premiere, shows the great popularity that Hindemith enjoyed in the USA.

(Program Notes from the Publisher)

Mouvement Frénétique

Jonathan Dagenais is the conductor of several renowned ensembles across Canada and is an internationally published composer and arranger. He teaches instrumental conducting classes in addition to conducting the McGill Wind Orchestra at McGill University and he teaches composition at Sherbrooke University. He also is a highly in demand adjudicator/clinician for numerous music festivals and guest conductor for honour ensembles across North America. Well known educator and public speaker, he is a Yamaha Canada Master Artist Educator, a guest conductor and clinician for Twigg Musique and the Fédération des Harmonies and Quebec Symphony Orchestras (FHOSQ) in addition of being the artistic director of MusicFest Québec.

Mouvement Frénétique is a short, dynamic, frenetic, and rhythmic flight of fancy composed for the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Harmonie Frenette for École secondaire Émillien-Frenette in Saint-Jérôme, QC. Based on a simple motif of four notes that are repeated, varied and developed throughout the movement, the piece is a stirring tribute to this music program and teacher, Michel Saint-Amant, who inspired the composer to become a conductor/composer/educator through his expression of artistic and human values.

Composed with a minimalist musical aesthetic, several musical elements are integrated that represent the composer’s musical journey. These include his training in classical percussion, rhythmic contrast, and groove and a broad mix of colors influenced by Stravinsky, Bernstein, Shostakovich, Adams, Uematsu, and the UK’s Genesis. The piece takes place almost entirely in the Lydian scale.

Following a brief introduction presenting the four-note motif, the piece makes a brief tip of the hat to the harmonic musical language of the 90s. It then switches to a central section with more charged harmonies, a number of dissonant extensions, and a greater complexity of sequences. This piece concludes with a final section that revisits the main musical motif in a grandiose style, attempting to communicate all the beauty and passion of discovering, learning, and performing music within a large musical ensemble.

(Program Notes from the Score)

Music for Prague 1968

Karl Husa, Pulitzer Prize Winner in music, is an internationally-known composer and conductor and the Kappa Alpha Professor at Cornell University. An American citizen since 1959, Husa was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on August 7, 1921. After completing studies where he received diplomas from the Paris National Conservatory and the Ecole normale de musique. Among his teachers were Arthur Honegger, Nadia Boulanger, Jaroslave Ridky, and conductor Andre Cluytens.

In 1954, Husa was appointed to the Cornell faculty; from 1967 to 1986, he was also Lecturer in Composition at Ithaca College. He was elected Associate Member of the Royal Belgian Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1974 and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1993. He has received degrees of Doctor of Music from the following institutions: Coe College in 1976, the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1985, Ithaca College in 1986, and Baldwin-Wallace College in 1991. Among the numerous recognitions, Husa has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, American Academy and Institutes of Arts and Letters, UNESCO, and the National Endowment for the Arts awards, a Koussevitsky Foundation commission, the Czech Academy for the Arts and Sciences Prize, the Grawemeyer Award, the Sudler International Award, and the Lili Boulanger award. He is listed in Who’s Who in the World.

(Note from Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Volume 1)

Karl Husa’s Music for Prague 1968 was commissioned by the Ithaca College Concert Band and composed during the summer and fall of 1968 for the capital city of Czechoslovakia. The work was premiered by the commissioning ensemble in Washington, D. C., on January 31, 1969, Dr. Kenneth Snapp conducting, in a concert for the Music Educators National Conference.


It is the composer’s wish that his Foreword be printed in its entirety in all concert programs or read to the audience before each performance of the work.

Three main ideas bind the composition together. The first and most important is an old HUssite war song from the 15th century, “Ye Warriors of God and His Law,” a symbol of resistance and hope for hundreds of years, whenever fate lay heavy on the Czech nation. It has been utilized also by many Czech composers, including Smetana in My Country. The beginning of this religious song is announced very softly in the first movement by the impani and concludes in a strong unison (Chorale). The song is never used in its entirety.

The second idea is the sound of bells throughout; Prague, named also the City of “Hundreds of Towers,” has used its magnificently sounding church bells as calls of distress as well as of victory.

The last idea is a motif of three chords first appearing very softly under the piccolo solo at the beginning of the piece, in flutes, clarinets and horns. Later it reappeared at extremely strong dynamic levels, for example, in the middle of the Aria.

Different techniques of composing as well as orchestrating have been used in Music for Prague 1968 and some new sounds explored, such as the percussion section in the Interlude, the ending of the work, etc. Much symbolism also appears: IN addition to the distress calls in the first movement (Fanfares), the unbroken hope of the Hussite song, sound of bells, or the tragedy (Aria), there is also the bird call at the beginning (piccolo solo), symbol of the liberty which the City of Prague has seen only for moments during its thousand years of existence.

(Program Notes from the Score)

Dr. William Street came to the University of Alberta in 1988. As a saxophonist and conductor, he has performed and lectured in Belgium, Canada, China, the Federation of Russia, France, Great Britain, Japan, Italy, Mexico, Slovenia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, and the USA. He has toured with pianists Roger Admiral, Ian Chen, and Viktoria Reishwich-Dapp, and the Quatuor International de Saxophones emphasizing the importance of both solo and chamber music making.  For four years, from 2009-2013, Bill served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, and from 2013-2015 he was Associate Dean of Humanities and the Arts at San Jose State University. In 2015, he was appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Alberta, where he began his second term as Chair in 2021. He continues an active career in wind music performance and chamber music.

Meijun Chen received her Bachelor of Arts (Music major, Economics minor) with Distinction (2018), and double Master of Music degrees in Clarinet Performance and Wind Band Conducting (2020), at the University of Alberta. She is currently a third year Doctor of Music student in Wind Band Conducting, under the supervision of Dr. Angela Schroeder. Her research interests include wind band music education in Canada and China, and the historical developments of university band pedagogies, repertoires and composers. Meijun is an active guest conductor of U of A Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Summer Band, University Symphony Orchestra and community choirs. In 2021 she was awarded the position of Edmonton Youth Orchestra’s Conducting Intern, and will perform with the ensemble this fall.

Meijun is an award-winning clarinetist with 18 years of international wind ensemble and orchestra performances and competitions, with experiences in over 13 countries in Europe, Asia and North America. She won the 2019/20 U of A Concerto Competition, and held various Principal Clarinet positions. She has also performed as a guest clarinetist with the Royal Canadian Artillery Band. Meijun works as a clinician with many Alberta public schools. Her private clarinet, piano and music theory students won gold medals at the national level, and have been accepted to Performance and Music Therapy programs across Canada.

Dr. Angela Schroeder is currently Professor of Music in the Department of Music at the University of Alberta. She is the Director of Bands, the Area Coordinator for Winds and Percussion, and conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Summer Band. Angela was awarded the 2016 Faculty of Arts Award for Undergraduate Teaching, and the 2017 Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by the University of Alberta. She teaches courses in conducting and music education, and works with Graduate students in instrumental conducting. Angela is the conductor of the St. Albert Community Band, an ensemble that is currently in their 52nd concert season. She lead the ensemble on their first European tour in July 2015, performing in Germany and at the MidEurope Band and Orchestra Festival in Schladming, Austria.

Dr. Schroeder completed undergraduate studies in Music at University of Calgary, majoring in Secondary Education, with performance studies in piano and trumpet. Angela entered the Master's program in Wind Conducting at Northwestern University in 2002, where she studied with Mallory Thompson and earned the Master of Music in Conducting. In 2007, she completed the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Band Conducting at the University of North Texas, under the supervision of Eugene Migliaro Corporon. Angela has guest conducted and adjudicated numerous school bands in festivals and clinics throughout Canada, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and Thailand. She is a contributor in Canadian Winds, the national journal for wind band educators, and wrote chapters in eleven volumes of the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series, which profile wind literature for all levels of instrumental instruction, published by GIA.

University of Alberta Symphonic Wind Ensemble 2022-2023

* denotes section leader


Margaret Hornett*
Alice Nie
Jade Jacques
Lloyd Ramirez
Megumi Varghese
Additional player:
Linda Shin


Rianna Burgess*
Evelyn Wang


Noah Keizer* (Bari-sax)
Daryl Price


Brianna Bolt
Meijun Chen
Adrian McCurdy (Bass)
Justine Dennis*
Joshua Gray
Macy Pollock
Sarah Rossi
Additional players:
Mikayla Campbell
Gwen Delos Santos
Katelynn Tran


Danielle McAfee* – Alto
Dylan Lindsay - Alto
Kyrstin Ruecker - Alto
Haley Spector - Alto
Annie Lamarre - Tenor
Amelia McLeod- Tenor
Lucas Rosen - Bari


Zachary Champ
Alyssa De’Eth
Milan Regmi
Setareh Rezazadeh
Bronwen Taylor*


Ashlyn Anthony
Sophia DeBorja
Sydney Flaherty*
Jordan Nahamko
Angelo Panahon
Neha Sandhu
Additional players:
Ethan Rahn
Matthew Sullivan


Paxton Atrens
Sabina Fassbender*
Isaac Friesen
Brett Merkosky


Rosie Li*


Brielle Scatterty
Will Gervais*


Mikhail Abdulla
Ethan DeSouza*
Will Huy*
Jia Vinieze
Divine D. Lopez
Jonah Myles Andres
Madison Wagner



Ana Priolo-Marin

This concert is being livestreamed.

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