Months of practice and rehearsal will come to fruition for Baldwin High School’s Wind Symphony next Monday. The group will give its first-ever full -length performance at the Commissions Concert at Adelphi University’s Performing Arts Center on June 13 at 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Baldwin Fine and Performing Arts Department, the concert will feature six musical pieces.
“Our band has … practiced [nearly] every day, including evenings and weekends with numerous recording sessions,” said music teacher Scott Dunn, the school’s director of bands, who has led Baldwin High’s band for the past nine years.
To help prepare for the Commissions Concert, the symphony performed two of the pieces at this year’s winter concert, and took part in a College Band Directors National Association seminar at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., in March. Dunn’s band was put to the test, but he felt that this year’s group was ready for the challenge. He made the decision to have a full-length concert this year because of his outstanding group of seniors.
“Some of the music is technically challenging,” he said. “But this year, we have a particularly strong senior class.”
The concert will involve 69 students, including 29 seniors and 6 freshmen. The Wind Symphony has worked with renowned, award-winning composers like Kenneth Lampl and Paul Moravec. Both will orchestrate two of the group’s pieces at the Commissions Concert. Dunn has given his students the freedom to share their ideas with the composers to get a feel for the process of molding and editing music.
“In this program, kids get a chance to interact with professionals,” Dunn said. “They feel like they’re a part of the process.”
Two of the pieces are concertos, compositions that involve one or more solo instruments supplemented by an orchestra. Along with established composers, Dunn’s group also works with young, up-and-coming composers. After pointing out the fact that there are no professional concert bands in Long Island, he said he feels that it is his band’s obligation to keep raising the bar and to demonstrate the advancement of music for both composers and band members in the coming years.
“This is a very proud moment for the Baldwin Fine & Performing Arts community,” said Andre H. Poprilo, the department’s director. “Our students are dedicated, and our teachers maintain high standards of excellence. The Commissions Concert is a culmination of these sustained efforts over the years, and we are happy to share all of our commissioned works with the community.”