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April 30, 2001

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice, practice, practice--and it doesn't hurt to be in the UCSC Wind Ensemble

By John Newman

That tired old joke is based on an even older truism in the world of classical music: Carnegie Hall is, and always has been, the quintessential venue in America. To perform at Carnegie is to have arrived on the musical scene, and on Saturday, May 26, UCSC's Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Robert Klevan, will do exactly that.

When Klevan brings down the baton on the Memorial Day weekend concert, it will be the culmination of years of hard work--three years, to be precise. The invitation to perform in the Ensemble Spotlight Series, hosted by Mid-America Productions, is a remarkable achievement considering the Wind Ensemble has only been in existence since the fall of 1998.

Participants are invited to perform only after having been recommended by an esteemed authority in the field, or by one of the more than 100 guest conductors who have appeared in the series.

Recommended performers must then submit an audition tape to Mid-America Productions' music director Peter Tiboris for final approval.

The 55-person UCSC ensemble will share the bill with the National Wind Ensemble, directed by H. Robert Reynolds from the University of Michigan, and the Kansas State University Orchestra, conducted by David Littrell.

But musicians in the UCSC Wind Ensemble are not strangers to prestigious venues and distinguished company. In 1999 they performed the national anthem to begin a Giants game at Candlestick Park. Klevan envisions more public performances for the ensemble in the future.

"Eventually, I'd like to see performances in the local community," Klevan says. "Maybe a Sunday-in-the-park series."

And concerts aren't the only way he imagines bringing music to the local community. "Ultimately, I hope we have two wind ensembles," he says. "One that is open to the community, to anyone that wants to play, and one that is by invitation after an audition."

There is no reason to suppose Klevan won't be able to follow through on his plans. He has already raised $74,000 from local foundations, businesses, and individuals to cover expenses for the Carnegie Hall appearance of the 55 ensemble musicians.

If you can't make it to Carnegie Hall, you can catch the UCSC Wind Ensemble at the UCSC Music Center Recital Hall on Friday, May 18--a week before they head east for the Carnegie Hall recital.

The program will open with the Gavorkna Fanfare by Jack Stamp (don't ask what Gavorkna means, even Stamp doesn't know), and follow up with Movement for Rosa, a tribute to civil rights hero Rosa Parks, by Mark Kamphouse; Country Band March by Charles Ives, arrangement by James Sinclair; and Galactic Empires by David Gillingham. Tickets are available now from the UCSC Ticket Office: (831) 459-2159, $8 general, $6 seniors, $4 students with ID.

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