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Strike Up the Band

May 9, 2011 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A Memorial Day weekend band concert at Chicago’s Millennium Park will feature the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble conducted by Mallory Thompson, live commentary by 98.7 WFMT-FM and University of Michigan Marching Band announcer Carl Grapentine, and guest trumpet soloist Colin Oldberg. The event is free and open to the public.

Presented by the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, the 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 29 program marks the 6th year of Northwestern ensemble performances at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, at 201 E. Randolph St., between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive.

In addition to 4,000 fixed seats, the venue has the capacity to accommodate an additional 7,000 concertgoers on the lawn.

The most select of University wind ensembles, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble emphasizes major arrangements and original works for band. The group’s May 29 program includes Donald Hunsberger’s arrangement of Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” and Mallory Thompson’s arrangement of the Prelude to Act III, Dance, and Finale from Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger.” Concerto for Trumpet by Alexander Arutunian; Hunsberger’s arrangement of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor; and Keith Wilson’s transcription of Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber” also will be performed.

Thompson, who is the Bienen School’s director of bands and coordinator of the conducting program, also is Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence.

Grapentine joined 98.7 WFMT-FM in 1986 and is longtime host of the station’s “Morning Program.” He has given pre-concert lectures for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Music of the Baroque. Grapentine also has been the stadium announcer for the University of Michigan Marching Band for 38 seasons, including 16 Rose Bowls.

Oldberg, a Bienen School alumnus, is principal trumpet of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, YouTube Symphony Orchestra and others. Oldberg is a member of the Axiom Brass Quintet, winner of the 2008 International Chamber Brass competition.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org. For more on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, call the Millennium Park visitors’ office at (312) 742-1168 or visit www.millenniumpark.org.

Topics: Campus Life