Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds #5

LA Winds All Stars – Composer Charles Fernandez

Dear Friends and Members of the LA Winds Family:

This installment of your LA Winds “Summer Sounds” series features our Emmy award winning composer, arranger, conductor and performer, Chuck Fernandez—truly one of the LA Winds brightest stars for nearly 20 years!

We are featuring three of Chuck’s most inspiring works for Band including his “Windsor Processional,” a work that in its sonic and regal majesty pays tribute to the time Chuck spent at the Royal College of Music in London.  This was one of the works we performed at the world-famous Midwest Clinic in Chicago in 2004.  Chuck conducts this stirring 2010 Los Angeles performance.

Click here to view “Windsor Processional” 

Next up is one of my personal favorites, “Persepolis Bazaar,” an evocative work conjuring up the sights and sounds of a day at a Middle Eastern bazaar –  from the early morning reflective prayer to the day-long songs, dances and excitement of ancient Persia’s ceremonial capital.

Click here to view “Persepolis Bazaar”

The next piece, “For Sir David,” is one of Chuck’s most recent works for concert band.  This inspiring work was commissioned by California State University, Northridge to honor their internationally acclaimed former Wind Ensemble conductor, Sir David Whitwell.  It makes brilliant use of some of Sir David’s favorite compositional motives and is a fitting tribute to one of the Wind Band world’s most esteemed figures.

Click here to view “For Sir David”

In our next installment of the “Summer Sounds” series, which we’ll release on August 15, you’ll begin to meet some of the Winds’ “superstar” musicians as they introduce themselves and their instruments to you.  We’ll also feature musical selections from the Winds extensive catalogue of video recordings, so you can hear these LA Winds stars in performance.  We’ll begin these presentations—which will also be available to students in the LAUSD—with our horn co-principal Jason Beaumont and his colleagues Joy Armstrong, Jennifer Bliman and Chris Wilson.  I’m sure you’ll find this series both entertaining and informative.

Many thanks for your continued support and feedback!  I want to thank all of you who continue to watch this important series of LA Winds presentations and share them with your family, friends and social media contacts.  We’ve had nearly 1,500 views of our videos since we began this series in June.  If you are enjoying the Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds series, we invite you to share us with all of your friends and family by passing this email to them, and by sharing this on your favorite social media platforms like FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you missed any past issues of Summer Sounds, you can see all of the Summer Sounds videos here.

As we move forward, let me once again thank you for continued support and ask you, as always, to stay safe – wear masks, keep distance, wash hands often — as we await the day when live music doesn’t have to be heard on a phone, tablet, laptop, computer or TV!

Sincerely,

Stephen P. Piazza
Artistic Director
Los Angeles Symphonic Winds


Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds #4

Dear Friends and Members of the LA Winds Family:

The 4th installment of our “Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds” series features saxophone virtuoso Dale Underwood, whom the Washington Post called “the Heifetz of the saxophone.” Click on the link below to hear Dale in a spectacular performance of “A Gershwin Fantasy” with your LA Winds at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago in 2004.

Click here for “A Gershwin Fantasy”

As many of you know, Dale has performed with the Winds as recently as 2016 when we performed the beautiful “Tosca Fantasy” at Disney Hall.  The 1st time I heard Dale perform this was in 2006 when he and Col. Arnald Gabriel collaborated with the Winds to perform Puccini’s haunting melodies along with a “tour de force” rendition of Jimmy Dorsey’s “Oodles of Noodles.” Click the links below to relive these memorable performances.

Click here for “Tosca Fantasy”

Click here for “Oodles of Noodles”

Besides these two appearances, Dale also appeared with the Winds on the summer “Concerts in Warner Park” series and soloed with us when we were featured in the 2007 Mid-Europe Band and Orchestra Festival in Schladming, Austria – one of former Governor Schwarzenegger’s favorite ski resorts!

On Saturday, August 1, you are in for a real treat with our next Summer Sounds issue: “The Magical Music of Charles Fernandez!” Our own Composer In Residence, Charles Fernandez will present some of his most exciting works performed by Your LA Winds. You don’t want to miss this!

Next, on August 15, the “Summer Sounds” series, in addition to bringing back memorable concerts from the past, will also begin to feature individual players from your LA Winds. They will be demonstrating their instruments – and giving you the chance to get to know us on an even more personal basis. These videos will also form a part of a series of presentations to be distributed to students and teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District in the fall as they utilize new and novel resources to keep music alive during these uncertain pandemic times.  We are proud indeed to partner with the LAUSD in this most worthwhile project.

If you are enjoying the Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds series, we invite you to share us with all of your friends and family by passing this email to them, and by sharing this on your favorite social media platforms like FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you missed any past issues of Summer Sounds, you can see all of the Summer Sounds videos here.

As we move forward, let me once again thank you for continued support and ask you, as always, to stay safe – wear masks, keep distance, wash hands often — as we await the day when live music doesn’t have to be heard on a phone, tablet, laptop, computer or TV!

Sincerely,

Stephen P. Piazza
Artistic Director,
Los Angeles Symphonic Winds


Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds #3

Dear Friends and Members of the LA Winds Family:

The third installment of the “Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds” series begins with a heartfelt video elegy to those who have been part of the on-going struggle for racial equality and the suffering brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Third Video Showcase - Elegy for Our Times

I am performing an arrangement of the Adagio movement from J.S. Bach’s g minor Violin Sonata to express the profound sadness we all feel at the tragic consequences that too often have accompanied these monumental movements and events.  In the first part of the video I’ve included photos of such well-known men, women and children as Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King Jr., Lyndon Johnson, Nina Simone, Muhammed Ali, Cecil Murray, Rodney King, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, his daughter Gianna, Martin Luther King III and his wife Arndrea, and their daughter Yolanda. I have intentionally left the 2nd half of the video (beginning at 1:55), which deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, without specific historically recognizable figures to underscore the tragic universality of this dreaded virus.  The only exception to this is the inclusion of the famed jazz pianist and educator, Ellis Marsalis.

The second video in this third installment features two artists who, over the course of over 25 years, have helped bring your LA Winds to our current level of international recognition. Geoff Nudell and SSgt. Parker Gaims are presented in their virtuoso March 2017 performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Concert Piece No. 2 for clarinet and basset horn, op. 114. I’m sure you’ll enjoy their incredible artistry. Mendelssohn Concert Piece No. 2

And in our next installment, to be released on July 15, you’ll be dazzled by saxophonist Dale Underwood whom the Washington Post hailed as “The Heifetz of the Saxophone.”  Thanks, as always, for your continued support, and we look forward to your comments and suggestions as we prepare for our January 2021 re-opening festivities!

We’d love to hear your feedback on our Summer Sounds series.  Please send your thoughts and comments to tickets.lawinds@gmail.com.

Best Regards,

Stephen P. Piazza
Artistic Director,
Los Angeles Symphonic Winds


Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds #2

Our second installment of the “Summer Sounds of Your Los Angeles Symphonic Winds” series is an inspiring salute to the men and women who have served in the U.S. Military.

Click on the links below to hear the exciting videos we’ve entitled “Marching Along with the LA Winds.”

Second Video Showcase with Introduction by Maestro Piazza

Or choose from the list below to view specific performances only:

  1. Service Song Medley
  2. Invincible Eagle
  3. Bravura
  4. March from 1941
  5. Stars and Stripes Forever

As many of you know, the Winds have been privileged to share the concert stage both here and abroad with such distinguished military personnel as Winds alum Parker Gaims of the USMC.  Parker can be seen — long before he joined the Marines — in several of our videos.  In the coming weeks, you’ll also hear the Winds perform with Navy saxophone soloist Dale Underwood, whom the Washington Post hailed as “the Heifetz of the Saxophone.”  In this week’s video, you’ll see me leading the legendary US Army Field Band. Also this week, Col. Arnald Gabriel, former Director of the USAF band, leads the Winds in a stirring rendition of “Stars and Stripes Forever.” The LA Winds have been deeply honored to work with Col. Gabriel on a number of occasions, and we continue to show our gratitude to him for his efforts in WWII as part of the original landing force at Normandy on D Day.

We hope you enjoy this second installment of our “Summer Sounds” series, and we look forward to our next presentation which will include a very moving elegy to all those who have journeyed through the challenging times of racial inequality, global pandemics, and social struggles for justice. We’ll also revisit the stunning performance by Parker Gaims and our own Geoff Nudell of one of the virtuosic Mendelssohn duets for clarinet and basset horn.

But for now, enjoy the sights and sounds of “Marching Along with Your LA Winds!”

We’d love to hear your feedback on our Summer Sounds series.  Please send your thoughts and comments to tickets.lawinds@gmail.com.

Best Regards,

Stephen P. Piazza
Artistic Director,
Los Angeles Symphonic Winds


Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds #1

Welcome to the 1st installment of our “Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds” series!

This week we’re featuring the 2003 video which led to our being recognized as one of the premiere community ensembles in all of America — and throughout the world!  This was our first professionally recorded video, and it led to our being selected as featured performers at the internationally acclaimed Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.

We were the first community band west of the Mississippi to ever perform at this prestigious annual convention which attracts nearly 20,000 attendees from around the world. Ron Nelson’s exciting and hauntingly beautiful “Aspen Jubilee” is the first selection on the video, followed by the rousing “Mad Major” march by Kenneth Alford.

This will serve as a great prelude to our upcoming video “Marching Along with the LA Winds” — to be released to you, our loyal supporters, on Jun 15th.

So just relax and click the link below to enjoy the 1st installment of “Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds!”

  • Aspen Jubilee and Mad Major March with Maestro Piazza Introduction
  • Video only: Kenneth J. Alford's Mad Major March
  • Video only: Ron Nelson's Aspen Jubilee

We’d love to hear your feedback on our Summer Sounds series.  Please send your thoughts and comments to tickets.lawinds@gmail.com.

Best Regards,

Stephen P. Piazza
Artistic Director,
Los Angeles Symphonic Winds


Summer Sounds Launch Announcement

Dear Friends of the LA Winds,

The internationally-acclaimed Los Angeles Symphonic Winds will begin offering bi-weekly programs to our hundreds of subscribers, patrons and sponsors on Monday, June 1st. Titled “Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds”, we’ll present a series of recorded concerts, lectures & demonstrations and “virtual” live performances designed to entertain, enlighten and hopefully inspire you, our loyal LA Winds supporters. This free, on-line series is just one of the ways we’ll work to keep our LA Winds family together during these challenging times of social-distancing and large crowd restrictions.

The June 1 program will include a fascinating look at the LA Winds March 2003 concert which was so important to our ascent to national and international prominence. It was this performance (the first professionally recorded LA Winds video) that led to our 2004 invitation to perform at the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.

This series will continue to be presented on the 1st and 15th of each month throughout the Summer and, if concert restrictions continue, throughout the Fall and the Holiday season—right up until the time when our live concert programs resume.  You will receive an e-mail on the day of each program release with information telling you how you can easily access this eclectic series.

On behalf of our Band Members, our Operations Committee, Volunteer Staff, and our Board of Directors, we welcome your participation in this exciting “Summer Sounds of Your LA Winds” series.  And we remind you to stay safe and healthy during these challenging times.


COVID-19 Corona Update From Steve Piazza

Dear Members of the LA Winds Family,

Let me begin by reminding all of us to continue putting into practice all of the safety guidelines that have been set forth by the medical community. Far better to err on the side of caution than to risk jeopardizing our health, the health of our families and the health of our community at large.

In my last communication to all of you on March 12th, I mentioned that our March 15th concert would be cancelled, but I held out some hope that other scheduled events might go on as originally planned. Obviously, the spread of this pandemic and its unknown longevity now make it impossible to plan with any certainty dates and times for any future LA Winds events.

We all know that this national (and international) tragedy will pass in time…. we just don’t know when that time will come.

Rest assured that we will not set any date or time for our next meetings until we are certain that no one is in danger of contracting this insidious disease. Also, be aware that any one of you who are reluctant to meet as a group sometime in the future should stay home (as we hope you are doing now) until you feel comfortable in a large group setting, regardless of any scheduled events.

Finally, I’m reminded of the fact that a number of us (myself included) oftentimes don’t appreciate what we have until it is taken away from us. In this case, our ability to reinforce the bonds of love, friendship and camaraderie that exist among our families, neighbors and colleagues has been taken out of our hands. And now we add to that the loss of our ability to share our artistry with each other and the hundreds of appreciative concertgoers who also make up an important part of our LA Winds family.

I’ll keep you informed of any changes as the situation develops, and you can check the member portal section of the LA Winds website for any schedule information at www.lawinds.com/member-portal (Password lasw), but in the meantime let me know if there is anything I can do to help. And above all, stay well.

Stephen P. Piazza
Artistic Director
Los Angeles Symphonic Winds


March 15 And April 5 Concerts Postponed

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In keeping with the guidelines set forth by the California Department of Health and the requirements of the Las Virgenes Unified School District, the March 15 “Stars of the LA Winds” concert scheduled for the Performing Arts Education Center at Calabasas High School will be postponed. As inconvenient as this may be for hundreds of our subscribers, musicians, guest students, guest artists and supporters of the LA Winds, it is clear that the health of the LA Winds family — as well as the health of our fellow citizens — should be our primary concern. And, as we have all heard, limiting large public gatherings is one way we can help to control the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of this point in time, several LA Winds events scheduled through August will go on as originally planned — assuming, of course, that a safe performing and listening environment can be assured. These events include performances at Pacoima Middle School, an invitation only chamber music performance at Valley Beth Shalom, our “American Composers Concert”, our “Tex Mex” dinner barbecue and our Huntington Beach Summer Concert. We’ll also let you know when our “Stars” concert and the “Mahler Project” at Temple Ahavat Shalom will be rescheduled. If you have already purchased your tickets to the “Stars” or “Mahler” concerts and find that you cannot attend these events on the rescheduled dates, we’ll be sure to set up a refund or a donation option for you.

The Board of Directors of the LA Winds has also approved plans for an exciting and uplifting 2020-2021 LA Winds season. By November — when the new season begins, we hope that this current health crisis will have been resolved. Given the long term economic and public health issues associated with this pandemic, the Board has unanimously decided to maintain (and in some cases reduce) our current audience-friendly costs for subscriptions. More to come on this.

We promise to keep you up to date on the status of upcoming LA Winds events and wish you and yours good health and safety in these challenging times. Finally, we offer our heartfelt thanks for your continued support of one of the Valley’s most treasured cultural assets — the Los Angeles Symphonic Winds.

Sincerely,

Dorothy Rupert, President, LA Winds Board of Directors
Stephen Piazza, Artistic Director, LA Winds


Concert in Santa Fe for 2021 ABC Convention

Dear Colleagues:

As many of you may recall, the possibility of the LA Winds performing at the national convention of the Association of Concert Bands was mentioned at several rehearsals a few months ago. Now, however, the time has come to see if we can turn a possibility into a reality. The 2021 Convention will be in Santa Fe, NM. Click here to see info about this years’ Convention in Virginia and see what the event is all about.

We will need to submit materials and recordings in order to be accepted to participate, after which (if we are accepted on or about Sept. 1, 2020) we’ll know the date of our performance – either 4/28, 4/29, 4/30 or 5/1 of 2021.

Before we begin the process of applying to participate, we need to know that we can send a representative band of at least 70 players to perform at this prestigious conference. The tentative plan is for band members to provide their own transportation (c.12 hours of drive time to Santa Fe) or 2-hour plane flight (LAX to Albuquerque. Cost = c. $200 for a roundtrip ticket). We’ll provide transportation funds from Albuquerque to Santa Fe if you fly to Albuquerque ($25 credit to be applied to roundtrip train or bus shuttle or car rental to Santa Fe).

Direct flights to Santa Fe are approximately $320. Some may wish to use accumulated airline miles. Costs for a two-night stay (for double occupancy rooms and an LA Winds Band Banquet in Santa Fe) will be approximately $15,000 for our 70-piece band. The Board of Directors of the LA Winds will utilize surplus funds from previous seasons, as well as additional funding sources, to cover these Room and Banquet expenses. Band members need only pay for their transportation to Albuquerque or Santa Fe. You may, of course and at your own expense, extend you stay in Santa Fe or participate in the Convention Band which will include players from all over the USA. Details on the convention band will follow—if we apply and are accepted to perform.

This model of combining member funds and organization funds to pay for long distance trips has been used successfully by the LA Winds for trips throughout the Western USA, Chicago, New York, Canada, Europe and Asia. I’m personally very excited about another LA Winds major tour. This is just the kind of event that we’ll all be talking about for many years to come!

Please complete the following survey. Your responses will let us know if a return to LA Winds multi day band tours is possible for spring 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Survey Question:
Would you like to participate in the 2021 LA Winds tour to Santa Fe?

Click here to reply

– An answer of “Yes” means you will would be able get to Santa Fe using your own methods at your expense. You understand you will receive accommodations (double occupancy) for 2 nights and attend the LA Winds Band Banquet in Santa Fe at no additional cost. You may also extend your stay and/or participate in the convention band at your own expense.

– An answer of “Yes, with financial help” means you would be able get to Santa Fe with some financial help. You understand you will receive accommodations (double occupancy) for 2 nights and attend the LA Winds Band Banquet in Santa Fe at no additional cost. You may also extend your stay and/or participate in the convention band at your own expense.

– An answer of “No” means you will not be able to participate in the tour.

Please complete this survey before Saturday, February 22 to ensure your response is counted in the results.

Many thanks for your help, and thanks also for your hard work at both the sectional and full rehearsals for our upcoming “Stars of the LA winds” concert!

See you Monday night, February 24 at Stelle Middle School

All the best,
Stephen Piazza, Director
Los Angeles Symphonic Winds


March 15th Concert – Rehearsal Order

Monday, February 17th: Sectional Rehearsals. Work on technically challenging parts, in particular those that occur in Molly on the Shore, Barnum and Bailey, Hands Across the Sea, Forward and Bells for Stokowski.  We’ll have lots of rehearsal time on Bells so make sure the others are in good shape technically.

Monday, February 24th: Keber, Grainger, Joplin (Treemonisha), Hands  INT Bells

Monday, March 2nd: Massenet, Barnum, Forward, Bells INT Bells, Domine

Monday, March 9th: Keber, Hands, Massenet, Barnum, Grainger, Forward INT Joplin, Bells

Friday, March 13th: Program Order: Forward, Hands, Grainger, Massenet, Domine INT Barnum, Keber, Joplin, Bells

Sunday, March 15th: Concert Calabasas High School Performing Arts and Education Center at 2:30 PM, Sound check at 11:30 AM.

Link to our event calendar on the LA Winds site.
Link to the member portal for Dropbox and Band Announcements.