Wind Symphony Honors Military with Free Spring Concert

The Wind Symphony appears on April 22 in a rare free concert in tribute to the men and women, past and present, of the United States military. Here’s the press release:

“Every piece selected for the concert is a patriotic tribute to their selfless service in defending our freedoms at home and abroad,” says William Wakefield, director of University Bands.

The University of Oklahoma School of Music presents the Sutton Concert Series with a special performance by the OU Wind Symphony at 8 p.m., Thursday, April 22, in Sharp Concert Hall. This concert is free and open to the public and will be streamed online at Visiting guest artists for the concert include Kevin Walczyk, composer-in-residence at the School of Music, and Ssgt. Joseph F. LeBlanc, clarinet, from “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band.

The concert honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The program for the concert includes “American Salute” by Morton Gould; “Vision of Souls,” a tribute to the victims of September 11, and “Symphony No. 2, Epitaphs Unwritten” both by Walczyk; “X” by Scott McAllister; and “Armed Forces Medley” arranged by Thomas Knox.

Wakefield says the concert is the culmination of a week-long celebration of Walczyk’s music, with additional concerts performed the week of April 18-22. Walczyk serves as Guest Composer-in-Residence with the OU School of Music. Throughout his stay, he will be meeting with student and faculty artists, coaching both rehearsals and performances of his compositions. Each night of his residency will feature a performance of one of his pieces.

Walczyk has devoted so much of his passion towards the OU School of Music and its students. He wrote his massive Symphony specifically with OU in mind, and will be a huge artistic benefit in his one-on-one interaction with the performers of his music.

“The audience is in for a musically moving experience, his voice is one that is rapidly making an impact on the international stage,” says Wakefield.

Additional concerts performed at 8 p.m., in Sharp Concert Hall, during week of April 18- 22 include:

  • Monday, April 19: Sutton Concert Series presents Faculty Brass Quintet performing “Divertimento.”

  • Tuesday, April 20: Sutton Concert Series presents OU Jazz Ensemble performing “Relaxin’ at Calarillo.”

  • Wednesday, April 21: Visiting Guest Artist Ssgt. Joseph LeBlanc performs the world premiere of “Bois de la Paixat 6 p.m., Pitman Recital Hall.

For ticket information on the above concerts, please call the Box Office at (405) 325-4101.

All Sutton Series performances are in OU’s Catlett Music Center, 500 W. Boyd, in your OU Arts District! For up-to-date information call the Fine Arts Box Office at (405) 325-4101.

Many concerts are scheduled for live stream via Internet, to see a schedule visit . Please visit for a full calendar of events and performances at the School of Music. The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please call the Box Office at (405) 325-4101

If you regularly attend the symphonic wind concerts at OU (and if not, why not? they’re great!), you may remember Walcyzk’s work. During the Homecoming 2008 concert, the Wind Symphony premiered the wind version of his Celebration Fanfare. Last February, trumpet soloist Brandon Ridenour performed Walczyk’s Concerto Gaucho: For Trumpet and Wind Ensemble in a memorable evening. The Symphony No. 2 is so new that you can’t view a score online, but you can read more about the piece and the consortium (led by OU) that commissioned it.

For information on obtaining tickets in advance, you can contact Danh Pham through that there link, which keeps spam harvesters from finding his address (that works for all of you, too; it’s why we use it rather than publish individual E-mail addresses where harvesters could find them).

If you don’t get advance tickets, you can still be seated (still for free) in the ten minutes prior to the start of the concert, but why take chances? Get tickets now from the Box Office, or get some for your whole group!