April 23, 2012 — The Allegheny College Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble will present their spring concert on Sunday, April 29 at 3:15 p.m. in the college’s Shafer Auditorium. Admission is free. The Allegheny saxophone and flute ensembles will present pre-concert music beginning at 2:40 p.m. in the Campus Center lobby.
Both the Wind Symphony and the Wind Ensemble are under the direction of Professor of Music Lowell Hepler. Robyn Dixon Costa, who has been the principal English hornist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra since 2001, will perform as guest soloist at Sunday’s concert.
Membership in the 100-member Wind Symphony is open by audition to all Allegheny College students. In addition to their campus concerts, the Allegheny ensembles in past years have toured the eastern, southern and midwestern United States. The Wind Ensemble is a 40-member ensemble auditioned from the Wind Symphony.
Robyn Dixon Costa is also an associate musician with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and plays oboe and English horn with the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra and with the Music at Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra. She teaches oboe at Bloomsburg University, Juniata College and the Grier School in Pennsylvania. She has been a performer/storyteller with the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Artist-in-Schools program, GCAC’s Children of the Future program and a resident artist with Chamber Music America’s Rural Residency Program.
Sunday’s program will open with “The Keystone” by Robert W. Smith, a musical tribute to Pennsylvania and to the historic events that shaped America. Next on the program is the hymn “Amazing Grace,” set for symphonic band by Frank Ticheli; Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Overture to “The Wasps”; and an arrangement of the hymn “God of Our Fathers,” written by Claude T. Smith and conducted by Assistant Professor of Music Jennifer Dearden.
The Wind Ensemble will take the stage to perform Gaetano Donizetti’s “Concertino for English Horn and Symphonic Band,” with Robyn Dixon Costa as soloist, and Eric Whitacre’s “Noisy Wheels of Joy.”
The Wind Symphony will return for the final portion of the program, beginning with the “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss, adapted by Alfred Reed. Johan de Meij’s “Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings” will follow, a work that the composer conducted with Allegheny students earlier in the semester.
The program will continue with Billy Joel’s “Air (Dublinesque),” adapted for symphonic band by Barbara Lambrecht, and conclude with John Philip Sousa’s march “The Fairest of the Fair.”
Lowell Hepler, professor of music and director of bands at Allegheny College, has served as guest conductor for music festivals ranging from county through all-state levels. Principal Tuba with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lake Erie Ballet Company, he is also a member of Undercurrents, a tuba/euphonium quartet made up of college and university faculty in western Pennsylvania, and the Allegheny Brass Quintet.
Hepler has served as president of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Bandmasters Association and is past-president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, Honorary Bandmasters Fraternity. He has also served as the Pennsylvania chair for the College Band Directors National Association. Hepler was the 2010 recipient of Phi Beta Mu’s Pennsylvania Bandmaster of the Year Award.