Centenary wind ensemble plans two spring concerts

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary Wind Ensemble will present two performances this spring of a concert featuring jazz and band selections. The 5:00 p.m. concerts on Sunday, March 18 and Thursday, April 12 are free and open to the public.

The March concert will be held in the Anderson Auditorium at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music, while the April edition moves outside to the College’s Hargrove Memorial Amphitheater (“the Shell”). Both performances are offered in memory of Bill Causey, a Centenary alumnus and longtime band leader in Shreveport who passed away on February 28, 2018.

“Bill’s father was the legendary B.P. Causey, Centenary’s director of bands from the 1940s until the 1980s,” says Thomas Hundemer, director of the wind ensemble. “Bill was himself legendary in the local Shreveport-Bossier community as a trumpet performer, music educator, the owner of The Band House, and leader of the jazz swing big band Shreveport Super Sound. He is greatly missed and we fondly dedicate this concert to his memory.”

The Wind Ensemble will continue an exploration, begun in the fall, of the music of the great jazz pianist and composer Thelonius Monk. The concert includes two Monk selections, “Blue Monk” and “Round Midnight,” featuring Centenary junior alto sax player Lucas Lawrence. Also on the program are two pieces commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918, “La Père de la Victoire” by Louis Ganne and Maurice Ravel’s “The Fairy Garden” from his “Mother Goose Suite.”

“’La Père de la Victoire’ was written in honor of Georges Clemenceau, the French prime minister who was regarded by the French as the ‘Father of Victory’ for his unstinting refusal to give in to the German military machine,” explains Hundemer. “Ravel’s work is also rooted in his war experiences. He volunteered for the French army during World War I but was denied, so he chose to work as an ambulance driver to support the war effort. He lost many friends and musical colleagues in the war with its terrible toll of trench warfare, poison gas, and influenza that killed an estimated 25% of Frenchmen between the ages of 20 and 45.”

The spring program also includes music from the British band tradition by Gustav Holst and a Spanish-inflected work from the American composer Alfred Reed.

Centenary Wind Ensemble members include students, faculty, staff, and local educators and musicians. For more information about the Wind Ensemble, contact Thomas Hundemer at thundemer@centenary.edu.

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