Campus News

Director of band to make her UGA debut with Hodgson Wind Ensemble

Cynthia Johnston Turner

The 2nd Thursday Scholarship Concert Series continues Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall with the Hodgson Wind Ensemble. Tickets for the performance are $18, $5 for students and can be obtained via the UGA Performing Arts Center box office.

The ensemble, led by new Director of Bands Cynthia Johnston Turner, will present a program of music written entirely by American composers. Selections include Joan Tower’s “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 2,” John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” “Slava!” and “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story, both compositions by Leonard Bernstein.

“Jazz is America’s music, and the work of Bernstein and Adams tap into that genre,” said Turner, who began her position at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music this fall. “It’s exciting, gritty music with artistic value that appeals to this country’s aesthetic, and their inclusion makes for an uplifting, fun performance.”

The concert also will feature graduate conducting students Tyler Ehrlich and Jack Eaddy Jr., as well as special guest soloist Pamela Mia Paul for the Georgia premiere of Steven Bryant’s “Concerto for Piano.”

The renaming of the UGA Wind Ensemble to the Hodgson Wind Ensemble represents the new direction and vision Turner has for the group. In addition to this rebranding, Turner has changed the ensemble’s structure, reducing the number of performers to one per part.

“Excellence has its place,” Turner said. “These are the finest wind musicians here, and reducing the instrumentation encourages more ownership and responsibility, in addition to pushing students to be more sensitive musicians. It’s structured like a chamber ensemble-though that doesn’t mean we still can’t get quite loud when appropriate.”

The Hodgson Wind Ensemble has earned an international reputation for its artistry, with membership including only the most accomplished music majors. In recent years the group has toured throughout the U.S. as well as Argentina, France and Switzerland.

Established in 1980, the 2nd Thursday Scholarship Concert Series offers showcase performances by UGA students and faculty the second Thursday of each month throughout the academic year. Proceeds from individual ticket sales and season subscriptions help fund yearlong academic scholarships and assistantships for students and present donors the opportunity to sponsor individual students of the music school at several levels of giving.

The next concert in the series will be in Hodgson Hall Nov. 5-7 at 7:30 p.m., when the UGA Opera Theatre presents Hansel and Gretel.

Subscriptions to the series are on sale from the UGA Performing Arts Center box office at or by calling 706-542-4400.