Conducted by Dr. Gene J. Pollart, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble consists of the most outstanding wind and percussion players at the university, selected by audition. Since it began in 1963, the ensemble has been dedicated to presenting the finest literature from all musical periods to its audiences, with particular interest in American wind literature. They have performed at several national conferences and the New England Wind Festival. They were among the few college-level ensembles to perform at the 2009 Eastern Division Music Educators National Conference, where they earned high accolades and praise.
The program for the “French Connection” concert includes the “Fanfare” from La Péri by Paul Dukas; Norman Dello Joio’s Emmy Award-winning Scenes From “The Louvre”, taken from the original score for the NBC television special broadcast in 1964; Darius Milhaud’s five movement Suite Francaise, depicting the provences where American and Allied armies fought in World War II; and Impressionist Prints by Aldo Rafael Forte, a recent work based on six prints from prominent artists of the Impressionist period: Degas, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. This composition explores a wide range of sensations, and was awarded first place in the National Federation of Music Clubs’ American Music Composition Competition in 2006.
Dr. Pollart, who heads the URI Band program, is also Conductor and Musical Director of The American Band, one of the premier adult community concert bands in the nation. He has an extensive background in teaching and also as a percussionist. He is active as guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator and is a past president of the Rhode Island Music Educators Association.
The URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the building, off Bills Road. For more information, contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or visit: www.uri.edu/artsci/mus.