Cultural Event: East Shore Wind Symphony

Ferris State University Department of Music will host the Standish, MI based East Shore Wind Symphony on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 8:00pm in Williams Auditorium.

The ESWS was founded in February of 2010 and today is Northeast Michigan’s leading professional wind band. Comprised of 50 woodwind, brass, and percussion players, the band performs an eclectic blend of musical styles ranging from Bach to Bernstein and Sousa to Strauss. In it’s brief history, the ESWS has shared the stage with guest musicians, including award winning composer David Gillingham, the national champion a cappella men’s chorus the MountainTown Singers and Soprano Amy Petrongelli, a two time fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and Carneige Hall soloist in a performance of Haydn’s Creation.

In January of 2012, the ESWS was an honored ensemble presenting at the prestigious Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids. Since 2012, while in residence in the Standish-Sterling Community School District the ESWS annual honor musician program has hosted more than 500 vocal and instrumental music students in grades 8-12 representing more than 25 school districts state wide.

The ESWS is under the direction of Doug Burtch, who has conducted and taught at all levels, including elementary music, middle and high school, collegiate and adult bands. Mr. Burtch is a champion of instrumental music and is in constant demand as a clinician and adjudicator. In 2013, Mr. Burtch was selected to conduct the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association District II High School Honor Band in Petoskey, MI and the MSBOA District IX Junior Honor Band in Houghton Lake, MI. In April of 2015, following a year long conductor search, Mr. Burtch was appointed the conductor of the Genesee Wind Symphony of Flint, MI, where he is leading that ensemble in it’s 35th season.

The April 2016 ESWS concert tour, which includes stops in Big Rapids (Ferris State University), Montague, Grand Haven, Sebewaing and Standish, MI, is the culminating activity of the group’s sixth season together. According to Doug Burtch, the ensemble’s artistic director, “the concert tour of April 2016 is a celebration of the ensemble’s rich performance history and serves to help carry out one of our primary goals as an ensemble: to promise music education in the public schools.” The ESWS membership is made up of primarily music educators both current or retired and a a few members whom are in college programs to become future music educators. Members travel to rehearsals held in the ESWS home venue of Standish, MI from as far west as Grand Rapids and as far north as Alpena and south as Detroit.

According to Kristin Pagels, Marketing Director for the ESWS, the program planned for Thursday evening, “Ole! Music from South of the Border” showcases the ensembles extensive talents and features concert works of a variety of nature. Several compositions reflect the excitement, color and pageantry of Latin American celebrations – street bands, bull fights, bright costumes, and the colorful legacy of a proud people.

The ESWS is sponsored by the Northeast Michigan Arts Council. Generous contributions to the April 2016 tour have been made by Landing based Marshall Music Company and Bay City based Herter Music Center. For more information, visit the ESWS website or contact the Northeast Michigan Arts Council at 989-846-9331.

ESWS Tour Poster. Courtesy of the Department of Music at Ferris State University.

ESWS Tour Poster. Courtesy of the Department of Music at Ferris State University.

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