Thursday, February 26, 2015

UL-Lafayette Wind Ensemble to premiere African drum performance “Congo Square”

            The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Wind Ensemble present the premiere of “Congo Square” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in Angelle Hall on the university campus. This performance is for African Drum Quartet and Wind Ensemble.
            San Antonion composer James Syler will be on campus two days before the event to interact with UL students, and author Freddi Williams Evans will give a pre-concert lecture at 6:45 p.m. Her book, “Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans,” published by University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, served as an important resource and inspiration for Syler’s new work. 
            The first band to perform is the Symphonic Winds conducted by Dr. Eric Melley, which features music by Holst and others. After intermission, the UL Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. William Hochkeppel, will do a program of five works. After an opening Fanfare, the premiere of “Congo Square” will take place. A few program highlights include: Ecstatic Fanfare by Steven Bryant, Overture for Winds by Felix Mendelssohn, Fantasia in G Major by J.S. Bach, and Dance for the New World by Dana Wilson.

            The UL Band is a member of the consortium commissioning project by Syler, who also wrote “Storyville,” two historic places in New Orleans jazz. The work will also be featured at the new “Music For All” Regional Festival in March, when the Wind Ensemble is the featured ensemble.

Louisiana Book News is written by Cheré Coen, the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “ExploringCajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.