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St. Charles East wind ensemble to go electric with guest composer
Daily Herald Staff Report
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Published: 2/23/2009 12:25 AM

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The St. Charles East High School Wind Ensemble will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26 in the Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1050 Dunham Road, St. Charles. Tickets are $3 and will be available at the door.

Joining them will be guest composer Steven Bryant to work with and perform in his groundbreaking new work for wind band, "Ecstatic Waters." Ecstatic Waters uses computer generated sounds as an integral part of the works tonal palette, and Bryant will be "playing" the laptop during the performance. The piece is in five movements, and uses the electronics as additional voices in the band, creating unique sounds in combination with the traditional band instruments.

Bryant is an active composer and conductor with a varied catalog, including works for wind ensemble, orchestra, electronic and electroacoustic creations, chamber music, and music for the Web. His music has been performed by ensembles across North America, Europe, and East Asia. He is a two-time winner of the National Band Association's William D. Revelli Composition Award: in 2007 for "Radiant Joy," and in 2008 for "Suite Dreams." His first orchestral work, "Loose Id for Orchestra," was premiered by The Juilliard Symphony and will be featured on an upcoming release by the Bowling Green Philharmonia on Albany Records. His most recent orchestral work, "Alchemy in Silent Spaces" was premiered by the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall in 2006.

Bryant also has created a recomposition of the Iggy Pop and the Stooges song, "Real Cool Time," for the independent Italian record label, Snowdonia, as well as music for portions of the Virtual Space Tour at He is a founding member (along with Eric Whitacre, Jonathan Newman, and Jim Bonney) of the composer-consortium BCM International: four stylistically diverse composers from across the country, dedicated to enriching the repertoire with exciting works for mediums often mired in static formulas. BCM's music has generated a following of champions around the world, several thousand fans in an active online community, and two recordings: "BCM Saves the World" (2002, Mark Custom Records) and "BCM Men of Industry" (2004, BCM Records). For information, visit

The performance of this work and his visit is made possible by the school's dedicated band boosters. His visit and performance include a two-day residency working with the St. Charles East Band students, Bryant will also be presenting to the AP music theory class at the high school. Other pieces to be performed at this concert include Bryant's "Dusk," "Avenue X" by Jonathan Newman and a great old march by R.B. Hall entitled "Independentia."

In addition, the Symphonic Bands and Concert Bands are looking forward to the visit of guest tuba soloist Andrew Miller, who is principal tuba of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Miller will be performing with all of the symphonic bands at the concert on Monday, March 2 and with the concert bands on Tuesday, March 3. Works to be performed by Miller and the bands include Gabriel's Oboe, which has been recorded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Suite for Tuba by Don Haddad, and "The Blue Bells of Scotland." He will also "sit in" with each group during one piece on the concert.

Tickets for all performances will be available at the door. For information regarding the band program or any of the St. Charles East Band concerts, visit or contact Jim Kull at (630) 377-4797.