Soaring, lyrical lines filled the Lawrence Memorial Chapel last Saturday night as the Lawrence University Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble presented a concert titled “Pulitzer Plus.” Many of the works in the program were recipients of a Pulitzer Prize for Music. This award is given to a distinguished American composition every year. Such pieces bring innovative and sometimes unusual musical ideas to ensembles and audiences. The selections that conductor Andrew Mast programmed all had separate qualities that made each interesting and stimulating. The highlight of the Symphonic Band’s performance was Morton Gould’s “Ballad for Band.” Through solo flute and muted trumpet, it was easy to picture a sunrise at the opening of the piece. With solid ensemble work and good intonation throughout, all listeners in the chapel and online could generate their own internal images along with the music. The Wind Ensemble began its portion of the program with the exhilarating piece “Casanova.” It was written in 2000 by Johan de Meij for solo cello and wind ensemble, a rare combination. Professor of Music Janet Anthony joined the Wind Ensemble for the solo aspect of the piece, which depicts the story of Giacomo Casanova, an 18th century Venetian adventurer and author. There were many lyrical, beautiful melodies throughout the piece, but the music became especially interesting when it conveyed Casanova being thrown in jail. Meij depicts this in his music by having the soloist tune down the lowest string on the cello from a C to an E, which is quite a large interval. Audience members could truly feel the confinement Casanova was facing as Anthony cranked her peg down and finally reached the tremendously deep note. Casanova eventually escapes captivity, as portrayed by a duet between Anthony and a manufactured lion’s roar, which was produced by pulling a string through a large pail. There were many beautiful melodies in this work, but it was this section of new and interesting noises that was most fascinating. Anthony’s playing throughout the piece was superb and the Wind Ensemble, although a little too thick at times, provided an excellent supporting texture. Later in the concert, the Wind Ensemble played “Ecstatic Waters,” a thrilling work composed in 2008 by Steven Bryant. As the composer wrote in his program notes, “Ecstatic Waters is music of dialectical tension – a juxtaposition of contradictory or opposing musical and extra-musical elements and an attempt to resolve them.” In the piece, Bryant combines the sound from the players on stage with a vast array of electronic noises. A very memorable instance of this combination came at the end of the piece when clarinetist Paul Feeny played some stunning solos along with the electronics. The clarity and subtlety of this section was a great way to resolve the intense chaos from earlier in the piece. Mast led the group with a click track in his ear to ensure the crucial cohesiveness of the Wind Ensemble and the electronics. The immensely different forces stuck together to magnificently present this piece full of innovation and creativity. Both ensembles have one more performance during the 2009- 2010 season, a concert featuring composer-in-residence David Maslanka. That concert will take place Saturday, May 15 in the Chapel at 8 p.m.