Editor's Note: The following information was provided to Waukesha Patch via a news release from UW-Whitewater.
When it comes to performance venues, it doesn't get much bigger than this. Student musicians at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater have been invited to play at Carnegie Hall, the prestigious concert auditorium in New York City.
"This opportunity pushes us into the top tier of wind band programs," said Glenn Hayes, conductor and professor of music. "Carnegie Hall is one of the most renowned performance sites in the entire world, especially for classical music. The stage is legendary. I could not be more proud of how students have worked."
These 54 students, who make up the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at UW-Whitewater, will perform Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m. as part of the New York Wind Band Festival.
The following local students will be performing:
- Raquel Bruening from New Berlin
- James Cooney from Waukesha
- Kimberlie Hillmer from Waukesha
The ensemble's repertoire, which includes several well-rehearsed pieces performed during the fall semester, will also include the world premiere of "If Ever There is Tomorrow," composed by Christian Ellenwood, professor of music.
"His music just moves you. It's gorgeous," Hayes said. "He's written a phenomenal, glorious piece."
About 100 friends and family members are expected to make the trip to New York to watch and listen as UW-Whitewater students perform.
"Our musicians are absolutely thrilled and focused," Hayes said. "They know the responsibility they have. Whenever any group goes and competes or performs, the campus is viewed by the quality of that. We represent the university, and we intend to do an excellent job."
Hayes said 85 to 90 percent of his students will go on to teach music.
"Be it in Carnegie Hall or a high school gymnasium, when you have these kinds of life-affirming musical moments, it's so incredible," he said. "I hope the students will take this and say 'I want my students to experience that someday.' "
Before leaving for New York, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble will hold a concert celebrating its Carnegie performance. The event is at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at UW-Whitewater's Young Auditorium.