Ensemble introduces concert series

By Kelly Wiley

At the Singletary Center on Sunday, UK students can hear Chinese music, American-style.

The UK Wind Ensemble will perform “A Prelude to China” at the Singletary Center for the Arts at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. “A Prelude to China” is an introduction to the concert series the band will perform in late May when they tour China.

“We are not necessarily performing Chinese music in China,” said John Birdwell, UK’s director of bands. “But mainly music we are accustomed to here in America.”

Birdwell said he expects this performance to be one of the year’s best.

“I expect this performance to be our musical highlight of this year’s concerts, and that it will provide a journey that should be entertaining, informative and most enjoyable to our entire audience.”

A few guest artists will accompany the ensemble during the performance, including: UK’s director of jazz studies, Miles Osland; The Osland Saxophone Quartet; Pale, Stout, and Amber Traditional Irish Ensemble; and UK trumpet professor Mark Clodfelter.

The music will feature styles that range from classical to jazz, Birdwell said.

“The music is quite diverse and very challenging and demanding,” Birdwell said. “It requires a lot of practice and dedication, but the results are very gratifying.”

Two of the pieces that will be performed are the jazz-oriented “Rhythm of the Americas,” which will include The Osland Saxophone Quartet, and the traditional Irish piece “Minstrel of the Kells.”

While the pieces being performed may take extra time to perfect, Aaron Sexton, a music performance freshman, said the effort was worth the time needed.

“It’s just like a big team effort because we all have to work very hard, and we all are working hard at making music together,” Sexton said.

The hard work that students have put into practice will be heard in their performance, Birdwell said.

“I would say that the music we’ll be performing will be presented with emotion, passion and musical energy,” he said.