The University of Northern Iowa School of Music’s Wind Symphony traveled to northern Italy from March 8 through March 17. The group was invited to perform a series of six concerts throughout the region with concert sites in San Paolo d’Argon, Alzano Lombardo (Bergamo), Pontevico, Brescia, Costa Volpino and Arese (Milano). Concert venues included the PalaBrescia in Brescia, the Teatro Parrocchiale in Arese and the Basilica di San Martino in Alzano Lombardo. Faculty artists John Hines, bass, and Amanda McCandless, clarinet, joined the group on tour and performed on all six concerts.
The group, currently under the direction of UNI School of Music professor and conductor Ronald Johnson, toured Italy in 2004 and has taken three tours in Hungary. Reflecting on the trip Johnson noted, “It was quite an experience for the students to perform for full houses and enthusiastic audiences. To be received with so much applause, asking for encores. This was a great testament to the talent and abilities of our students. Most of our students are from Iowa, and few have had an opportunity for international travel. This journey served to make the world a little less scary for them and to empower the students for future ventures. I know that many will return to Italy at some time in the future.”
The Wind Symphony served as the ensemble for a two-day intensive conducting workshop with several of northern Italy’s most esteemed band conductors. The ensemble was also presented with an honorary diploma by the President of the Luca Marenzio Conservatory of Music in Brescia, one of the most prestigious of Italy’s music institutions.
For more information on this tour or other School of Music events and activities, contact Caroline Boehmer (319) 273-2028, firstname.lastname@example.org.