Family Weekend features first performance for Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band

Lindsay Moore

As a feature of Family Weekend, both the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, conducted by Robert Levy, will be performing at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The concert marks the beginning of the performance season for both ensembles, and has been a highlight of Family Weekend for years. It is a unique concert for either ensemble in the fact that is specially and completely geared towards the audience—namely, hometown family and friends.

In selection of repertoire, Levy has chosen pieces that feature a traditional, straight-ahead sound. “Usually [these ensembles] perform a lot of twentieth century work, which can be a bit intense for listeners,” Levy states, adding, “With the Family Weekend concert, we try to make it more palatable for the audience.”

In addition to being lighter in nature, several of the pieces feature the reoccurring theme of a “return to real American roots.” In fact, the very titles of Donald Grantham’s “Southern Harmony” (based on William Walker’s “1835 Songbook”) and Morton Gould’s “Santa Fe Saga,” both to be performed by the Wind Ensemble, suggest strong shades of Americana. Due to the present repertoire, high attendance in years past, and the nature of the concert, a high turnout is anticipated.