Symphonic Winds Ensemble To Share Musical Talent


Vidette Online – Illinois State University
Feb 4 2015

By Gianna Annunzio on February 3, 2015

The ISU Symphonic Wind Ensemble rehearses Monday, Wednesday and
Friday from 4-6pm under the direction of Dr. Martin Seggelke. They
are preparing for their concert this Friday February 6. (Paige
Meisenheimer, Photographer)

As ensembles of Illinois State University’s finest instrumentalists
prepare to perform their first concert of the spring semester,
supporters of live music will soon bare witness to the epitome of
refined musical talent.

The culprits of this melodious mastery: ISU’s Wind Symphony and
Symphonic Winds ensemble. Performing four distinctly different concerts
every semester, the band’s webpage describes the group’s musicality
as at an extreme caliber.

Both ensembles are dedicated to showcasing a new repertoire and
concert cycle with each concert production.

Martin Seggelke, the school of music’s director of bands, will be
conducting the Symphonic Winds concert from 8-10 p.m. on Feb. 6 in
the Center for Performing Arts alongside co-conductor Joe Manfredo,
a music education professor.

“Each concert is programmed in a way that a large variety of styles,
composers, genres and time periods is featured. Someone who attends
this concert will at least find one or two pieces that will really
resonate with them,” Seggelke said.

Both Seggelke and Manfredo have selected pieces of their choice to
be performed by Symphonic Winds.

“My selection is a large piece [that is] almost a half hour long,
it’s called ‘Poema Alpestre,’ the Alpine poem by composer Franco
Cesarini,” Seggelke said.

“[The piece is] very much in a Neo-Romantic tone language. All
selections are very different in their approaches, and provide very
challenging music.”

Manfredo will be performing three shorter pieces ranging from Percy
Granger’s “Gum Sucker’s March,” to the second part, third movement
of Alfred Reed’s “Armenian Dances.”

“[Gum Sucker’s March] is an upbeat, bouncy, very positive piece.

Reed’s ‘Armenian Dances,’ is very fast and furious, with minor modes
typical to Armenian folklore,” Seggelke said.

Glenn Block, the orchestra conductor, will guest conduct the Wind
Symphony cycle on Feb. 8. His program selections include a variety
of pieces ranging from Georg Friedrich Handel’s “Music for the Royal
Fireworks,” all the way to Schonberg’s “Theme and Variations.”

Seggelke said the pieces contain “very different language” furthering
the concert’s diversity.

Even while considering the vast musical demand included in
these pieces, they present no obstacle for the ensemble’s skilled
performers. While every school holds their own band program, ISU’s
is one of the top 40 in the country.

Seggelke strongly invites the community to take a bigger role in the
ensemble’s high-caliber talents, urging students to participate by
attending and supporting.

“It is one of the crowned jewels we have, not just in the college of
fine arts, but really on the entire campus,” Seggelke said. “Every
year, the top band even puts out an international CD release, with
major labels like Naxos and Albany Records.”

As both band director and conductor, Seggelke invites all attendees
to become invested in the music and use the inspiration to create
themselves. He also embraces more unconventional responses to the

“[One attendee] remained in the concert hall after it was being
cleared out, just sitting looking a bit pale,” Seggelke said.

“They said, ‘the music just overwhelmed me, just let me be. I’ll
probably sit here for another 10 minutes, I’m fine.’ Those are so
much stronger reactions than ‘the concert was great,” Seggelke said.

“I love those too, don’t get me wrong, but those [unconventional
reactions] come from clearly altered, moved people who had a strong
reaction to what just went on.”

“That performance aspect, that uniqueness of the moment, is what’s
always wonderful,” Seggelke said. “It really has the chance to emote
in that very moment and leave you changed. Minimally so, but it does
alter you.”

Ultimately, Seggelke strives for these ensembles to appeal to their

“We hope to every time present a large variety so you will always
find something that you like. Maybe you’ll find something that
challenges you, or surprises you, hopefully in a way that triggers
you to come again.”