Campus News

UGA Wind Ensemble to perform the ‘neXt’ best thing

New band director John Lynch and the UGA Wind Ensemble will celebrate the ‘neXt’ best thing in music with a Feb. 26 concert highlighting Generation X composers (who are born in the 1960s and 1970s).

Dubbed the “neXt Festival,” the 90-minute concert will feature six selections, two of which are so new that the UGA performance will be their world premiere.

Lynch said he’s always interested in trying new things and wanted to bring cutting edge music to the Wind Ensemble, which is UGA’s top band, consisting of mostly music majors.

Two of the composers, John Mackey and Kristen P. Kuster, will visit Athens for three days to attend rehearsals and provide insight.

The concert will consist of “Hammersmith” by Gustav Holst, “Appalachian Spring” (original version for 13 instruments) by Aaron Copland, “Kingfischers Catch Fire” by Mackey and world premieres of  “Lost Gulch Lookout” by Kuster and “My Hands Are a City” by Jonathan Newman. “Appalachian Spring,” the only non-Generation X piece, will be conducted by doctoral student Jake Wallace.

Lynch describes the varied selections as exciting and said it’s music that “captures the imagination.” He also said he’s excited to bring the young composers to Athens to meet the music students. “It’s important for our students to meet living composers who are close to their own age,” he said.

Before the concert, there will be a panel discussion with the two guest composers Kuster and Mackey, and faculty members Lawrence Shuster and Adrian Childs, entitled “What’s neXt?” at 7:15 p.m. Both the concert and the panel discussion are open to the public.

From March 2–5, the Wind Ensemble will record a CD of the concert selections to be released on Naxos, an international classical music label.