The Wright State University Wind Symphony reached a major milestone when it performed at one of the world’s most prestigious concert venues.
The Wind Symphony was invited to perform during the “Debut Series” at Carnegie Hall on May 12.
“Some say to play at Carnegie Hall is the musical equivalent of being at the Super Bowl,” said David Booth, D.M.A., Wind Symphony conductor, director of bands and professor of music.
The ensemble performed three pieces at Carnegie: “Aspen Jubilee,” by composer Ron Nelson; “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral,” a transcription of a segment from Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin; and “Words of Love” by composer James Mobberley.
Soprano Diana Cataldi, D.M.A., adjunct instructor of music, was the featured soloist in two of the pieces.
“I believe all of us felt our hearts pounding with the awe-inspiring thrill of stepping out onto that famous stage for our performance,” Cataldi said. “It was a dream come true, an opportunity of a lifetime, and a memory I know each of us will cherish as a highlight in our musical careers.”
Booth described the Wind Symphony’s performance as “absolutely magnificent.”
“I couldn’t be more proud,” he said.
The Wind Symphony was invited to play at Carnegie Hall after a talent scout with Manhattan Concert Productions, which books acts for the venue, saw the ensemble perform two years ago at the Ohio Music Education Association state conference in Columbus.
Forty-six students participated in the concert. The performance has boosted the students’ confidence, Booth said, and will increase the prestige of both the wind ensemble and Wright State’s music program.
“I don’t think the Wind Symphony will ever be the same after this trip. I think it’s fundamentally changed now,” he said. “There’s a legacy that future students now have to live up to.”
Josclynn Garrison, a senior and principal bassoonist of the Wind Symphony, said that playing at Carnegie Hall was a great honor and an exhilarating opportunity.
“This means the world to the Department of Music as well as the university,” said Garrison, who is president of the Wind Symphony Leadership Council. “Our reputation as school is growing and this growth is being noticed in a great way. It is nothing but up from here. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this program!”
In recent years, the Wind Symphony’s reputation has grown throughout the Midwest. The ensemble has toured Japan twice and performed in Korea and several times at the Ohio Music Education Association’s statewide conference.
In addition to playing at Carnegie Hall, the Wind Symphony performed during a warm-up concert on May 10 in the Philadelphia suburb of Newtown, Pa.
Wind ensemble members also watched the National Symphony Orchestra perform in Carnegie Hall the night before their own performance. “They were surely thinking what I was thinking, ‘We have to step up there and do that tomorrow,’” Booth said.
The trip was supported by Val P. Hattemer; Kristin Sobolik, the College of Liberal Arts dean; the Department of Music; and the provost’s office.
Every term, students audition to play in the Wind Symphony, which meets as a class three times a week and performs two major concerts each semester.