The Wind Ensemble is the smallest performing group of instrumentalists at CSU and is comprised of only the most elite students. Even the current members still have to re-audition each semester for their spots.
Students in the ensemble are compensated for their efforts through university credit; however they practice far more than the one hour they receive credit for.
“We don’t double up the parts so there is a lot of responsibility on each part,” said Dr. J. Stephen Moore, Wind Ensemble Director.
Tomorrow’s performance is a part of a three-day CSU High School Honor Band Clinic. Guest clinicians Ray E. Cramer and Bruce Pearson are present for the event.
It features an out of the ordinary arrangement of Japanese and British literature. “There are some wild and crazy flutes, percussion and a chant line singing,” Moore said. “It is sheer dramatic playing which is highly emotional and exciting.”
While the members of the Wind Ensemble already have a good deal of talent, Moore pushes them hard in efforts to achieve a balance between the pre-existing skill of the players and the challenge of new material.
“Anybody who hears the Wind Ensemble is usually very surprised,” Moore said. “We have a very high entertainment value.”
Student Profile #1
Senior music education major Jason Mabrey grew up around music, practically lives in the music building, and sees music on the horizon for his future.
Mabrey has been playing the trumpet since the fourth grade and believes he inherited his love of music from his father, also a trumpet player.
In addition to playing principal trumpet for the Wind Ensemble, Mabrey currently is lead trumpet in the jazz band, trumpet section leader in the marching band, principal trumpet in the CSU orchestra and plays trumpet in the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra on occasion.
Out of all the groups Mabrey plays with, he enjoys the wind Ensemble the most.
“It is the most challenging, it demands more advanced players because of the more advances literature,” he said.
Since there is basically only one player to a part, it is almost like every member of the wind ensemble is playing a solo all of the time.
In his last semester, Mabrey looks back at his musical career at CSU and is proud of the growth he has seen both in the sheer number of those involved in the music department as well as their abilities.
In particular, because of recruitment, the trumpet section of the marching band has grown from 16 members in Mabrey’s freshman year to 37 members currently.
While he also likes to snowshoe and camp, Mabrey spent the vast majority of his free time on music. “My life wouldn’t be the same without music,” Mabrey said. “If I don’t practice for a few days over break it feels like something is missing.”
Student Profile #2
Kate Gaines is a full time musician full of ambition. She knits, she plays clarinet and on occasion she directs the CSU Wind ensemble.
Gaines is one of three graduate students in the Wind Ensemble; the rest are undergrads.
In addition to playing principal clarinet in the ensemble, Gaines also conducts some pieces the ensemble plays, such as “Army of the Nile” by John Phillip Sousa.
Since maintaining proficiency in an instrument requires a high degree of time commitment, Gaines doesn’t have time for too many other activities. She says music is definitely her main passion in life and knitting is just about the only hobby she enjoys outside the musical realm.
“Luckily, in grad school, music is all I have to worry about,” Gaines said. “I don’t have to take any outside classes.”
After she graduates this spring, Gaines plans to go back to Kentucky to teach music at the elementary school level. In addition to her music education concentration, Gaines also receives great enjoyment from performing in front of an audience.
“You put so much work into it and it takes so long to get to a point where it is fun,” Gaines said. “After a while, you want to share the joy of playing with others.”
Gaines worked with Moore during her undergraduate education when she was a drum major at the University of South Carolina and says that his presence, along with course offerings such as a special elementary music class, were the main reasons she decided to continue her music education in Fort Collins.
“I got really lucky since I worked with him before,” Gaines said. She said she and Moore have worked it out so she can finish her degree in three semesters instead of four.
Tickets for tomorrow night’s performance at 5:15 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Theatre are $5 for students, $8 for adults and are available at Campus Information Services.