The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

WindSync, A Grand Evening

by Virginia Ross, For The Quill

If you had been invited to attend a wind instrument concert, your immediate thought might have been-high-brow classical music. You offered, “I can’t because Josh has a ball game,” “My church circle meets that night” or “I have to take Mom shopping” (Mom is always good for an excuse). However, you would have missed one of the most delightful evenings last Friday at Civic Music when the five members of WindSync took the stage dressed in black.

Beginning with the fast moving “Overture to A Trip to the Moon,” a flute, an oboe, bassoon, French horn and clarinet each played the melody in a vigorous rendition. In “Quintet #2,” a piece of many movements, the fourth imagined a Middle Eastern market with a swirl of sound. 

In fact, the musicians challenged the audience to create their own vision from what they heard. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of “Wind Quintet in E ,” the musicians performed a classical piece that the public associates with such a group, but stuffy, this group is not. 

Their arrangement injected life to the classical form.  Ending the first half of the program with “Coming to America” by Bernstein, really electrified the audience; we all wanted to shout the lyrics.

The group is composed of five classically trained musicians. Garrett Hudson, flute, began his career at age 16 as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony becoming a dynamic international soloist, instructor, orchestral and chamber musician. 

Emily Tsai, oboe, started playing at ten years old. Her musical accolades are many, but besides these, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Anni Hochhalter, French horn, has an exciting career as a recitalist, instructor and social entrepreneur. Her inclusion with the group adds resounding depth to the group’s sound.

Kara La Moure, bassoon, enjoys being a freelance bassoonist, teacher  and lover of chamber music. She takes great interest in global youth orchestra movements. 

Julian Hernandez clarinet, began playing at the age of 9 in Puerto Rico. He has performed with many symphonies and is a strong advocate for music as a vehicle for social change. All in all, they are a diverse group of young, talented musicians.

The second half of the program began with the beat of a snare drum that turned into a frantic “Bolero” by Ravel. We all wanted to dance. 

The next selection was taken from the ballet, “Pulcinella,” by Stravinsky who in later years returned more classical styles. “Summertime” from Porky and Bess wove its melody into our souls as one instrument after another claimed the forefront.  

The last piece, “El Casa Belle” plus “Johnny Be Good” showcased the innovations that the group brought to each piece. Rousing applause elicited an encore of “You Are My Sunshine.” 

What a night! Each ticket holder got their money’s worth so mark your calendar for April 20th when Derik Nelson & Family, a modern folk song group, will be on stage.