CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In the early days of World War II, the American composer Aaron Copland wrote a patriotic orchestral work to lift the spirits of a gloomy nation. He needed a symbol of freedom to inspire a generation of Americans as they prepared for war, and he soon found what he needed in the words of a former president – Abraham Lincoln.
In 1942, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra premiered Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait.” The work sampled from popular American folk songs while also featuring a narrator reading from Lincoln’s speeches and letters. At 7:30 p.m. on April 25, the Austin Peay State University Wind Ensemble will perform this powerful work during a free concert in the APSU Mabry Concert Hall.
Dr. Gregory Wolynec, APSU professor of music, will conduct the student ensemble, and APSU President Tim Hall will serve as the program’s narrator.
“It’s very exciting for us,” Wolynec said. “The narration text is from some of Lincoln’s most famous speeches. And we’re closing with an excerpt from the Gettysburg Address. It’s very powerful.”
Before performing “Lincoln Portrait,” the ensemble will premier a new piano concerto written by Dr. Jeffrey Wood, APSU professor of music. Wood will be the piano soloist on that piece.
The evening’s program will also include a collection of classic works for wind percussion, including composer Paul Hindemith’s “March to the Symphonic Metamorphosis,” a chamber work by Venezuelan composer Renaldo Hahn and English composer Gustav Holst’s “Second Suite for Military Band.” APSU graduate student Vanessa Cobb will conduct the ensemble during the Holst work.
“It’s a very colorful program,” Wolynec said.
For more information on this concert, contact the APSU Department of Music at 221-7818.