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Americana theme highlights performance by Concert Band, Wind Ensemble

March 2, 2011
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Grady McGrannahan

 Drake University's Concert Band and Wind Ensemble will perform Wednesday, March 2, on the Jordan Stage in Sheslow Auditorium, Old Main, 2507 University Ave.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will start at 8 p.m.

The Concert Band, under the direction of Assistant Director of Bands Grady McGrannahan, will perform

  • "A Jubilant Overture" composed by Alfred Reed
  • "National Emblem" composed by Timothy Rhea
  • "Songs of Old Kentucky" composed by Brant Karrick

"When selecting repertoire for this concert, I was originally thinking of an Americana theme," said McGrannahan, who also serves as assistant professor of trombone. "I like listening to progression of pieces. It's like eating a good meal: an appetizer, a delicious entrée and a little palate cleanser."

Although the music is challenging, the students have risen to the occasion, McGrannahan said.

"Preparing this program has made the students better musicians," he added, "and this concert will demonstrate the strengths of the entire ensemble."

McGrannahan also conducts the Wind Ensemble, which will perform:

  • "Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo" composed by Malcolm Arnold
  • "Elements" composed by Brian Balmages
  • "Elegy for a Young American" composed by Ronald Lo Presti

McGrannahan said he decided to do something out of the ordinary for Wednesday's concert. During the "Elegy," a filmstrip will be played featuring photographs and video of John F. Kennedy. The piece was written specifically for the former president.

"It is such a staple in wind band repertoire and the filmstrip makes it very dramatic," McGrannahan added.

For more information about the concert, contact the Music Department at 515-271-3975.