UVU Wind Symphony and Westlake High School present “Neue Bahnen”

Reading Time: 2 minutes Westlake High School joined the UVU Wind Symphony for a night of incredible music on March 6.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The UVU Wind Symphony invited Westlake High School’s wind players to join them in displaying their talents on stage at the Noorda Center for Performing Arts. Conducted by Randall Brady, the high school students performed three songs before the UVU Symphony took the stage.  

The first song played by Westlake High School was “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss. The march was a strong start to their performance, featuring large crescendos and a powerful brass section. The next song was “Riften Wed” by Julie Giroux, originally written for the video game “Skyrim.” It was a slower, more heartfelt piece written to symbolize a happy union between two people that will inevitably end in heartbreak. For their final piece, the symphony performed “American Salute” by Morton Gould. The song highlighted the symphony’s bassoons and is a technically difficult song because of the constant tempo changes. 

The Westlake High School Wind Symphony did an amazing job of displaying their talents, and it was a treat to see them perform. From the audience, one could clearly see all the arduous work the students put into their performance. 

After Westlake, the UVU Wind Symphony took the stage to perform five more songs. Conducted by Dr. Christopher Ramos, the first piece was “Shimmering Sunshine” by Kevin Day. It began with chaos—each section of the symphony playing different parts in a fashion that made it sound like the instruments were having a conversation. Then, the music would swell, and each section would come together for a powerful moment, before descending back into chaos.  

The second song was “Lyric for Band” by George Walker. It was a slow and hopeful song, written for the composer’s mother, and it perfectly encompassed her sad but strong passion.  

For the third song, “Percussion Concerto” by Jennifer Higdon, the symphony invited the 2024 UVU concerto competition winner Sofi Child to join them on stage. The song featured a mesmerizing percussion solo, performed by Child on xylophone, marimba, and drums. The piece was dissonant and chaotic, keeping the audience guessing where it would go next. It was truly an enchanting performance. 

The next piece was utterly unique, because instead of the usual one conductor, it had two conductors. “Sonic Pathways” by Lauren Coons is a piece meant for musicians to actively learn from each other while performing. It works by splitting the ensemble in half, with a different person conducting each side. The conductors give each side different directions and the result is a chaotic, but sharply unique piece that is different with every performance. This song was conducted by Steve Gravley and Caryl Klemann. 

To finish off the night, the symphony played “First Suite for Band” by Gustav Holst. The piece is split into three parts: Chaconne, Intermezzo, and March. The song started off deep and slow, gradually building up until it became powerful and loud. The ensembles built until they exploded with volume and completely overtook the audience. Then, the piece got incredibly quiet, tricking the viewers into thinking the song was over and it was time to applaud, until it suddenly continued at a fast pace with short, staccato notes. The piece ended with another burst of strength from the percussion section and deep, booming brass. 

The UVU Wind Symphony and Westlake High School gave a truly spectacular performance on Wednesday night.