Tour the World With the Los Alamos Community Winds Saturday


By Bonnie J. Gordon

The Los Alamos Community Winds will open their concert season with “A World of Music” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at White Rock Baptist Church.

“This is a typical Winds concert in that we are performing a variety of music,” Winds Artistic Director Ted Vives said. “We started looking at people’s suggestions for music and I saw that there was a wide variety of locations around the world represented. The theme grew out of that realization.”

The concert theme is particularly appropriate because this performance by the Los Alamos Community Winds is part of the 11th Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days – a global network of concerts that uses the universal language of music to diminish hatred, respect differences, and reach out in global friendship.

Daniel Pearl, the journalist and musician kidnapped and killed by terrorists in Pakistan was a classically trained violinist, as well as a fiddler and mandolin player who joined musical groups wherever he traveled.

World Music Days commemorates his October 10th birthday and carries on his mission of connecting diverse people through words and music.

For more information about Daniel Pearl World Music Days and the Daniel Pearl Foundation, visit the website at

The program opens with Funiculi-Funicula Rhapsody, written by Luigi Denza and arranged by Yo Goto. 

Denza was an Italian composer, born in 1846. Denza wrote hundreds of songs. The most popular of these was collaboration with Peppino Turco, the Neapolitan song Funiculì, Funiculà.

Goto is recognized as one of the leading composers and arrangers in the United States and Japan. Goto’s fantasy commands immediate excitement with unmuffled percussion and bold fanfares.

Moving on to France, the next selection is Scenes from “The Louvre” by Norman Dello Joio.  A musical tour of the museum, this work is a longer version of the original, written for a documentary about the Louvre in the 1960s, Vives said. The piece received an Emmy. Joio is perhaps best known for his choral music and for his collaboration with Martha Graham, for whom he wrote several works.

Especially composed by Ted Vives  for The Next Big Idea event held this year in Los Alamos, N.B.I (Next Big “Band” Idea) willbe performed for the second time at this concert. The Next Big Idea Festival showcases the use of science and technology in our lives.

“The piece is a melding of technology and music,” Vives said. “I wanted to demonstrate how that can be done, white retaining a human element.”

N.B.I. uses pre-recorded sound events to accompany the live musicians,” Vives said. “However, different from other such works, members of the ensemble determine when the sound events occur rather than have the band simply play along.”

Vivesis now in his 13th season as musical and artistic director for the Award-Winning Los Alamos Community Winds. He has received many honors for his compositions, most recently winning the 2011 American Prize for Composition.

The Winds will visit Scandinavia with W. Francis McBeth’s composition Beowulf – An Heroic Trilogy. McBeth was a prolific American composer, whose wind band works are highly respected.

In keeping with the Winds commitment to exposing audiences to modern music, the ensemble will present Undertow composed in 2008 by John Mackey. Mackey received a Master of Music degree from Juilliard in 1997.

“We’re really excited about this piece,” Vives said. “It’s a tour de force for percussion.”

Next is Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus – a work for harp and string orchestra by Ralph Vaughan-Williams. The composition is based on the folk tune “Dives and Lazarus”, one of the folk songs quoted in Vaughan-Williams’s English Folk Song Suite.

The ensemble returns to Scandinavia for Valdres by Norwegian composer Johannes Hanssen.

“This is a slower march, with more pomp than the standard John Phillip Sousa march,” Vives said. The performance will feature a solo by trumpeter Bruce Letellier.

The concert closes with the very fast and challenging Symphony No. 4 in F minor by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikowsky.

“Arranged for concert band, the symphony is even more difficult than the orchestral original,” Vives said. “Band members pride themselves on doing the challenging pieces the Winds takes on.”

The musical accomplishment of The Los Alamos Community Winds was recently recognized when the were awarded First Runner–Up in the American Prize Competition, Wind Ensemble and Concert Band (Community Division.) 

The Los Alamos Community Winds was selected out of a field of 20-30 community bands from across the United States.

You can be part of this outstanding ensemble. The Winds is always seeking new members and people to help behind the scenes as well. The Winds is also seeking singers for 2nd Annual Community Holiday Prism Concert Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at Crossroads Bible Church. The concert will take place immediately following the Holiday Light Parade.

In addition, the Winds is  seeking singers for a performance of Beethoven’sSymphony No. 9 in D minor on May 5 and 14.

The Winds will be joined by both the Los Alamos Choral Society and the Los Alamos High School Choral Program for this concert.  The goal is to have a choir of at least 200 singers.

Visit the Winds’ website at http://www.lacw.orgto find out how to participate in these upcoming concerts.

Also part of this year’s concert season is a benefit concert for Northern New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association Feb. 23. Don’t miss any of these exciting Los Alamos Community Winds concerts.









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