KINGSTON, R.I. –April 20, 2017–Music lovers are in for a treat Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m. That’s when the University of Rhode Island’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Gene Pollart, will fill URI’s Fine Arts Concert Hall with the world premiere “On the Greens of Blue and White.” The University commissioned the work as part of its 125th Anniversary celebrations.
The composer, Zachary Friedland is a Richmond, R.I. native who graduated from URI in 2013 magna cum laude. His symphonic band pieces have been performed and recorded by some of the finest ensembles on the eastern seaboard. Tickets are $12, students and seniors (60 and older $7.) Children 12 and under are free.
“The piece was inspired by URI’s roots as an Agricultural and Mechanical School and its growth and development leading to the 125th anniversary. Some of the musical material is taken from the Alma Mater “All Hail to thee, Rhode Island” from the opening horn calls to the celebratory brass fanfares at the end of the piece,” says the composer. “The title is a combination of the word green, referencing the large open fields like the ones across Southern RI where the campus was built and the famous line from the Alma Mater “…with our banner of white and blue.
“I hope the audience will feel a sense of pride and community in listening to the piece. Choosing to do my undergraduate work at URI was one of the best decisions I ever made and I am still happy to be a part of the incredible community and network. I hope the piece captures the sense of growth and development that the University has experienced during the last 125 –some of which I was lucky to see during the nine years I have been connected to it.”
During his time at URI, Frieldland made history when he was selected the nation’s first recipient of Kappa Kappa Psi’s Francis W. McBeth Student Musicanship Award. He is pursuing a doctorate of musical arts in composition at The Ohio State University.
URI senior Taylor Allen of Nashua, N.H., is the featured soloist. A versatile, modern day saxophonist who bridges the gap between jazz and classical music, Allen majors in orchestral performance and minors in business. He performed alongside British jazz and pop singer Jamie Cullum at the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival. His alto sax solo was featured on a radio commercial for Scrub-a-Dub car washes heard across Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
“Music and the arts have enriched the cultural life and played a significant role in URI’s history and celebrations over the past 125 years,” said Winifred Brownell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We are delighted to feature this world premiere performance composed by one of our talented alumni.”