All-Star Lineup of Faculty Soloists Headlines BYU Wind Symphony Performance

Featured works include a world premiere and a touching tribute to trumpet player Ryan Anthony

Livestreamed performance February 19, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

For any musical ensemble, collaboration is key. Musicians devote long rehearsal hours to achieving a blended, cohesive and beautiful sound. This is especially true for the BYU Wind Symphony’s February performance, which will showcase the talents of several BYU faculty members.

The COVID pandemic has added another level of complexity to concert preparations, requiring the ensemble to rehearse in smaller groups, or sectionals. Director Don Peterson explained that the full ensemble will meet all together only three times before the performance. 

The theme of Faculty Spotlight, with its impressive lineup of guest soloists, came about in part as an effort to regroup after the Wind Symphony’s spring tour to Europe was officially cancelled.

Soprano and School of Music director Diane Reich was slated to be a soloist on the tour. She will perform “Three American Gospel Songs” by Luigi Zaninelli.

“Song of Hope” by Peter Meechan features faculty soloists Jason Bergman on trumpet and Laurence Lowe on French horn.

Peterson said, “‘Song of Hope’ is just that: a heartfelt and hopeful piece.” The work is dedicated to celebrated trumpet player Ryan Anthony, founder of Cancer Blows, who passed away last year at the age of 51. The foundation began as a single benefit concert and quickly blossomed into an ongoing series of performances by brass musicians to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.

“Scherzo Furioso” by Jordan Gudefin highlights two faculty musicians with a special connection to Peterson himself: Ray Smith on tenor saxophone and Daron Bradford on soprano saxophone. Peterson agreed to tackle the difficult piece on Smith’s recommendation; it helped that Peterson, Smith and Bradford all attended BYU together as students.

Other pieces on the program include Gustav Holst’s “First Suite in E-flat,” led by graduate guest conductor Shaylee Croxall; Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” a choral piece transcribed for band; and the world premiere of “We’ll Make the Air with Music Ring.”

“We’re finding a way to make it work,” said Peterson of his ensemble’s can-do attitude. “To their credit, the students have understood what’s required for us to continue performing together. They’re just happy to be sharing music.”