The Wind Symphony is one of two selected showcase ensembles for the festival, which brings together six of the best high school groups in the nation to perform and be evaluated by a panel of prominent wind band directors at the historic venue.
“The festival serves as a learning experience for about 300 high school students,” said Scott Tobias, director of bands at WVU. “As a showcase ensemble, we will perform for them as an example of what’s attainable at the collegiate level.”
The Wind Symphony was selected for the honor through an audition process that included an application, repertoire review and recording evaluation. Open to all students regardless of major, the Wind Symphony is the premier wind ensemble at WVU.
“We hold auditions every semester for the Wind Symphony and the Symphonic Band,” Tobias said. “These student musicians are truly the best wind and percussion players we have, and they work hard.”
The ensemble plans to open their Carnegie Hall performance with a piece by the late Leonard Bernstein to celebrate the composer’s centennial year. Bernstein was best known for his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic and from his music for West Side Story and Peter Pan, among other famous musicals.
“Bernstein is an icon of American music. Being that it’s the 100th anniversary of his birth and we will be in New York City, where he spent so much time, it’s very fitting to perform his music,” Tobias said.
Their Carnegie Hall performance will serve as one of the Wind Symphony’s three regularly scheduled concerts each semester.
“We’re preparing like we would for any of our concerts, but there’s definitely a sense of importance and seriousness for this performance,” Tobias said. “Throughout its history, Carnegie Hall has been a performance destination for the finest musicians in the world. To perform on that stage will be a true honor for our students.”
The general public, including all WVU alumni in the New York City area, is invited to attend the showcase performance at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6. Tickets can be purchased through Carnegie Hall at http://bit.ly/2CPOqQ6.