Lincoln-Way West Spring Band Concerts performs World Premier Piece Friday, May 11, 2012
The Lincoln-Way West Music Department held their final instrumental concert for the 2011-2012 school year showcasing all musical groups, honoring their senior students, and playing a World Premiere Performance of an original work composed in memory of Steve Nedzel, the schools former Music Department Chair and Band Director.
West band programs featured were the, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Winter Drum line and Wind Symphony.
Seniors honored during the spring band concert were: Kayla Bryant, color guard; Angela Giaquinto, Clarinet; John Hayes, percussion; Jordan Harvey, trombone, Allie Indovina, French horn; Brooke Jessen, flute, oboe; Jaime Juhas, percussion, alto; Maggie Majcher, alto saxophone; Danielle Morin, clarinet; Jeremy Puttkammer, trumpet; and Abigail Turay, flute.
Steve Nedzel died last June as a result of an accident and the band students and staff dedicated the 2011-2012 Lincoln-Way West music season to his memory.
"It is a fitting tribute for Steve Nedzel, an original piece composed for him and played by the Lincoln-Way West band students. This project was presented to the students the first week of school in the fall. They were excited to do it," noted Cary Ruklic, West Music Department Chair.
Ruklic knew the composer, Roy D. Magnuson from college, and went to work finding the funding for the commissioned piece. Thirteen schools, including the four Lincoln-Way High Schools, and an anonymous donor contributed.
"The piece is titled, That Dear Land of Rest. It is a difficult piece to play, the beginning and end includes many bells, singing, and two solo saxophones playing together, one on stage, one off stage. The saxophone was Steve's instrument. The climax of the piece is meant to be joyful and overpowering, it is a very emotional piece to play," stated Ruklic.
The composer finished writing the piece in December. The band students starting rehearsing the piece right before spring break. He came in several times to work with our students and helped guide them in their performance of the piece.
Jordan Harvey, senior trombone player, noted that the piece is, "different, technically it is not hard to play, however when it comes to the extra stuff, it's moving, that makes it a hard piece."
"I think it is a good tribute to Mr. Nedzel. It has helped bring the band together, the exercise of learning the music plus playing the music together. From the bands perspective it helps give closure, that takes time," said Harvey.
Abby Turay, senior flute player, said "learning to play the piece together as a band, realizing the piece is about moving on, gave it meaning to the members of the band."
"Learning the process of composition and performance was good. Performing a World Premier piece was scary. It makes it harder, but it also makes it our music," said Turay.
Abby enjoyed being able to talk to the composer and understand what his thoughts were while composing the piece.
"He changed my image of composers, he's young and has a lot of creativity," she said.
"The students did an excellent job in their World Premiere Performance. What better way to remember a musician, than a composed piece for the individual. This was the most rewarding thing I have done in my teaching career. To be a part of the kids learning the piece, involved with other band directors in other schools all working on the same piece, and working with the composer. I hope that Steve would be happy with this," stated Ruklic.