Perhaps even more amazingly, its appearance at Hill Auditorium on December 17 will be the Eastman Wind Ensemble's first in town. Heretofore, local band lovers had to get their fix with recordings--Fennell's fabulous twenty-four for Mercury and Hunsberger's superlative series for Sony. Who among us who's experienced Fennell and the EWE wailing on Sousa's "Solid Men to the Front" could ever forget it? And was anything ever so lovely as Wynton Marsalis' ineffable trumpet floating serenely above Hunsberger and the EWE's softly undulating sonorities in Copland's Quiet City?
Hunsberger, now the EWE's Conductor Emeritus, will be appearing for just one of five numbers at the December concert, his own transcription of Debussy's Homage to Rameau. Three of the remaining pieces will be led by Scatterday: his arrangements of the rambunctious Tumbao from Roberto Sierra's "La Salsa" Symphony and Andrea Gabrieli's brilliant Aria della Battaglia as well as David Maslanka's exuberant Wind Symphony no. 4. The fifth piece, Jeff Tyzik's Riffs, features Eastman faculty member Michael Burritt beating and battering all manner of percussion instruments.
[Originally published in December, 2009.]