BDH Preview: Brown, Oxford University Wind Symphonies to perform together

December 5, 2017

This Friday, the Brown Wind Symphony and Oxford University Wind Orchestra will team up for a joint concert in Sayles Hall. The Brown Percussion Ensemble will open the concert with a performance conducted by Kevin Plouffe, teacher of percussion in the applied music program. A portion of the concert will feature a section exclusively conducted by Matthew McGarrell, director of bands and senior lecturer in music, and another will showcase the Oxford University Wind Orchestra, conducted by Chloe Rooke, the director of the Oxford Wind Orchestra. The two ensembles will then come together for two combined pieces at the end, “Serenade” by Derek Bourgeois and “Minho e Galiza,” a Portuguese March by Miguel de Oliveira.

Oxford’s visit to the University is a leg of the wind orchestra’s U.S. tour, where they have scheduled performances and workshops with a number of universities, including Princeton and Cornell. According to Rooke, this is the first time the OUWO is doing a full East Coast tour since its founding in 1974 and the first time the ensemble will play with the Brown Wind Symphony.

The concert has a “‘crossing the pond’ sort of theme,” Rooke said, with the Oxford ensemble performing pieces by British composers and Brown’s symphony performing only American pieces. McGarrell chose not to select British composers, in response to Rooke’s selection of works. “I thought … if they’re going to do all English, we’re not going to do Holst, we’re not going to do Ralph Vaughan Williams. … It ended up being a nice contrast, I think the audience will enjoy the different approaches,” said McGarrell.

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