A cacophony of sound wafts through the air in Schoenberg Hall. To some, the noise is nothing short of strange and discordant. The sound, however, comes from the UCLA Wind Ensemble’s members tuning their instruments and preparing to play their way through a program inspired by the music of composers ranging from Joaquin Turina to Yasuhide Ito.
Tonight, the UCLA Wind Ensemble will showcase works spanning a spectrum of composers and musical stylings in its fall quarter concert. The performance will be held in Schoenberg Hall and also marks the first concert of the new school year for the band members.
Lawrence Sutherland, the conductor of the wind ensemble, said preparing the band for this concert has been a slow and steady progression, but that communication improved as the members warmed up to each other.
“At first, I picked the pieces kind of blindly because I didn’t know what kind of ensemble I’d be working with,” Sutherland said. “But now, I think the pieces have molded to the band’s personality and show its strengths well.”
The group began rehearsing last month and has since been preparing a selection of music for its first concert ranging from David Maslanka’s “Tears” to Charles Ives’ “Triptych.”
Each piece explores a different aspect of human emotion: “Tears” was composed in response to an African novel Maslanka had read and seeks to embrace inner transformation through music, while “Triptych” is more playful and portrays joy through innocent childhood play.
Ryan Dudenbostel, the assistant conductor for the wind ensemble, said the selection for the concert is sure to connect with the audience.
“Each of the pieces are so different and intellectually challenging,” Dudenbostel said. “Because there’s so much variety in this concert, I guarantee that there will be something for everyone in the audience.”
Ken Fisher, the teaching assistant for the wind ensemble, said that in the beginning the program was fairly difficult to master in the one month between the first rehearsal and the concert, but the group handled the pressure well and exceeded expectations.
“Because all the musicians are serious about playing and love music, it was easy to work with the time restraints,” Fisher said. “I had no doubt that the group would be able to overcome the difficulty of the program.”
The group includes first- through fourth-year students, and even doctoral students. This assortment of members from different age groups adds another factor into play, Dudenbostel said.
“The freshmen and the sophomores learn from their role models, which are the older, more experienced players,” Dudenbostel said. “The great thing about the music department is that older students mentor younger students, so it’s really easy to learn from peers and become a better musician.”
Jiwoo Park, a first-year clarinet performance student, is a first-time member of the wind ensemble and has played with youth ensembles and the California Band Directors Association’s All-State Honor Band in the past. He said he enjoys seeing what the other sections have to contribute to the overall musicality of the band and learning how to work with a new group of people.
Park said his main goals for the concert are to learn from his peers in the clarinet section and to harmonize with the rest of the band to create the best possible sound.
“It’s hard to balance with the other sections, but I’m pretty excited to see how the pieces will turn out,” Park said. “I’m learning how to fit in with the rest of the band and it’s really fun.”
Because the concert is the first exposure to university-level orchestral performance for some of the members, Sutherland said the faculty of the music department hope that performing live to an appreciative audience will encourage the band members to have fun and enjoy their first concert experience of the school year.
“Ultimately, our goal is to help the performers learn and feel that all the hard work they put into rehearsing pays off,” Sutherland said. “I’m really excited to see what this talented group has to offer.”