Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

DIANA ECONOMOU

Diana Economou

Diana Economou plays the Clarinet and joined the Northshore Concert Band in 2017. She is a band and orchestra director and lives in Wilmette.

When and why did you start playing? 12 years old – 5th Grade

What do you enjoy most about playing?  Being able to communicate my inner feeling without words

Do you have a favorite musical memory? Once during a recital I played a piece and everything and everybody around me disappeared. It was just me and my instrument. When I finished my last note, before the audience clapped, somebody said, “Beautiful”

What are your musical influences?  Greek CDs my parents played in the house as a child, my older brother playing classical music loudly while he showered, my high school band teacher.

Who was your most influential music teacher?  Matthew Temple

Does anyone in your family play music?  My brother plays piano

What’s on your iPod?  Classical music, mostly Orchestral.

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Stick with it, and one day you’ll express yourself in a way you never would have imagined.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different from performing with other groups?  Don’t know, yet. I’m new.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band  Northshore, Band, Great….

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

 

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Musicians and Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

SANDY ELLINGSEN

Sandy Ellingsen

Sandy Ellingsen plays the Flute and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 1990. She is a college education license officer and lives in Buffalo Grove.

When and why did you start playing?  When I was 10 years old (5th grade).

What do you enjoy most about playingThe beauty and expression of music. 

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  The NSCB trip to France and a small group of us went to England on the front end.

What are your musical influences?  My parents are very musical and I had great flute teachers and band directors.

Who was your most influential music teacher?  My flute teachers and high school band director.

Does anyone in your family play music?  My Mom played clarinet and my Dad played trombone and they both still sing in a group. I have 2 boys and they play trumpet and trombone.

What’s on your iPod?  All different kinds of music.

Do you have any advice for young musicians?   Have fun and practice. Some of your best friends will be band friends.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different from performing with other groups?  The talent in the group and the caliber of the performances is excellent and fun.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band  Fun, excellent, friends.

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Karel Husa’s Smetana Fanfare

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The Northshore Concert Band opens its 2017-2018 season with some star works of the  wind band world including Karel Husa’s dedicatory Smetana Fanfare, in memoriam of the great composer’s recent passing.

Karel Husa was born in Prague on August 7, 1921 and immigrated to the United States in 1954. He became an American citizen in 1959 and taught composition and conducting at Cornell University for 38 years until his retirement in 1992. Mr. Husa won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1969 and the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition in 1993.  He died at the age of 95 on December 14, 2016 at his home in Apex, North Carolina.

Dr. Mallory Thompson, now in her 12th year as full-time Artistic Director of the Northshore Concert Band, is director of bands, professor of music, coordinator of the conducting program, and holds the John W. Beattie Chair of Music at Northwestern University. Dr. Thompson had this to say about Karel Husa:

“My friendship with Karel Husa began in 1984 and is one that I’ve valued ever since. His Concerto for Wind Ensemble was the subject of my doctoral dissertation and I had the pleasure of interviewing him in person, having him attend a rehearsal with me conducting the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and his attendance at our performance. Karel was a gentle, generous, inexhaustibly positive human being. Through the end of his life, he would send handwritten letters of thanks to anyone who performed his music, which is unbelievable considering his fame and accomplishments. The Northshore Concert Band honored Karel with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his singular contributions to the profession.”

Karel Husa was a longtime friend to the Northshore Concert Band.  The following appeared in the program notes of NCB’s November 9, 2008 concert at Pick-Staiger concert hall in Evanston, Illinois.

“In 1970..Mr. Husa was a visiting professor at Northwestern University for the summer session.  The Husa family arrived in Evanston to find that they were unable to get their assigned housing for several days. John and Marietta Paynter invited the Husas to be their guests. This was the start of a lasting friendship.  In fact, Karel Husa often referred to John Paynter as his “Cornish brother”.

In 1996, the Midwest Clinic commissioned Karel Husa to write a composition in honor of its 50th Anniversary Celebration. The Northshore Concert Band was selected to present the premier performance of the work Midwest Celebration, with Mr. Husa as guest conductor.

Mallory Thompson is also a lifelong friend of Husa.  In 2005 the Northshore Concert Band performed at the Midwest Clinic.  After the concert, at Dr. Thompson’s invitation, Mr. Husa attended the Northshore Concert Band’s post-concert party where he met Debbie Durham, principal NCB clarinet…and she asked if he would correspond with her high school theory students.”

Answering the students’ questions, Mr. Husa explained

“Composing is like learning new language. In addition, music writing goes through an interpreter (pianist, quartet, band, orchestra, chorus). This process is not needed in painting, poetry or novel. The painter shows his work, you read a poem or a novel from the writer’s pen.  As a boy I liked painting, poetry and also was learning how to play violin and piano.  I also played tennis, soccer, hockey and other sports! My parents however thought I would be an engineer, building bridges, etc. I enrolled in Prague University {in} 1939 but two months later they were closed due to protests over the killing of one of the students by Nazis. (Czechoslovakia was occupied at the time.) I was {then} lucky to get into the conservatory studio there until 1946.  Certainly my music is influenced by today’s life. We are part of it, and as Jean-Paul Sartre said, ‘We cannot escape.’ I think my music is part of what I have lived through.”

Bedřich_Smetana_monument in formt of the Bedrich Smetana Museum in Prague

Statue of Bedřich Smetana outside of the Bedřich Smetana Museum in Prague

Karel Husa’s Smetana Fanfare for Wind Ensemble was commissioned by the San Diego State University for a 1984 Festival of Music honoring Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. It was premiered by the SDSU Wind Ensemble on April 3, 1984 in San Diego,  The work uses two excerpts from Smetana’s symphonic poem the Wallenstein’s Camp, completed during his exile from Prague in 1859 in Gotenberg, Sweden.


 

STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE

featuring Smetana Fanfare by Karel Husa

November 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Evanston, IL.

 


 

Tickets available online at http://www.northshoreband.org or call 847-432-2263

Rising Star Andy Hudson

On Sunday, November 5, 2017, the Northshore Concert Band begins it’s 62nd season of musical excellence with Star Wars: A New Hope.  This premiere program will feature Andy Hudson, a virtuosic rising star on clarinet.  He will be featured on Michael Daugherty’s Brooklyn Bridge, a thrilling aural depiction of the New York landmark.

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Performances by clarinetist Andy Hudson have been hailed as “a treat for the listener” and praised for “an uncommon singularity of purpose, technical virtuosity, youthful vigor and a mature sensitivity.” Based in Chicago and active internationally, Andy has performed at the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest, the World Congress of the International Alliance for Women in Music, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Music Teachers National Association Conference, Constellation Chicago, and regional gatherings of the College Music Society, the Vandoren Clarinet Ensemble Festival, and the North American Saxophone Alliance. A frequent soloist,

Andy has recently performed concerti of Weber, Gandolfi, Mozart, David, and Copland among others. Andy has received invitations to perform at the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Hot Springs Music Festival, and the Belgian Clarinet Academy. Andy was the grand prize winner at the 2008 MTNA National Senior Woodwind Competition, and has also won the Sewanee Summer Music Festival Concerto Competition, the MTNA Southern Chamber Music Competition, and both the Columbus State University and Northwestern University Concerto Competitions.

A fierce advocate for new music, Andy presented at the 2017 New Music Gathering, has premiered and commissioned dozens of works to date, and has performed with Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNow, F-PLUS, a.pe.ri.od.ic., earspace, 10th & Broadway, and the Zafa Collective. Andy is currently an Instructor of Music at Northwestern University, where he teaches courses in Music Theory, Aural Skills, and 21st Century Music, and a Lecturer in Music at Lake Forest College. Additionally, each summer he joins the Artist-Faculty of the Tennessee Valley Music Festival in Huntsville, AL. Andy is a current DMA Candidate at Northwestern University, where he also earned the Master of Music degree. He previously earned the Bachelor of Music degree from Columbus State University. Andy’s primary teachers have included Steve Cohen, J. Lawrie Bloom, and Lisa Oberlander.

 

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We know that you will enjoy this exclusive NCB interview with Mr. Hudson.

Please tell us a bit about your journey in music and in life.  I was born into a family with a Choir Director for a mother and a recovering-hippie Bass Guitarist for a father. Because of this, I learned to love a wide variety of musical styles from an early age, and I still maintain a deep love for both the classical and popular music realms! I took up the clarinet and the guitar in elementary school, and I can honestly say I never dreamed I would be lucky enough to still be performing.

What have been some of your musical influences?  I think most often of those who have poured themselves into me throughout the course of my career. I’ve had so many great mentors, people like Mallory Thompson, Steve Cohen, Lisa Oberlander, Eric Mandat, and Lawrie Bloom. I feel a deep desire to honor their investments in me and to pay it forward by empowering future generations of musicians to realize their potential.

Please share a bit about your favorite musical memory?  There are too many to count! However, one recent performance I found very meaningful was Northwestern SWE’s performance at the CBDNA National Convention in Kansas City. We performed a powerful program of repertoire that dealt with themes of identity, love, loss, hope, and innocence. To share this moment in a beautiful concert hall, surrounded by people I love, was truly stirring.

What’s on your iPod?  A little bit of everything! Recently, I’ve been listening to Bartok, Bon Iver, Kendrick Lamar, Debussy, Brand New, Caroline Shaw, and The War on Drugs. I also love folk music and Americana, but I’m always looking for something new to inspire me. New music is like fresh air!

Which composer/musician – past or present – would you most like to meet for a coffee and why?  Igor Stravinsky. As far as I can tell, The Rite of Spring is musical perfection, and The Soldier’s Tale is one of my all-time favorite pieces. Stravinsky worked in a vocabulary wholly distinct from his contemporaries, and his music still feels remarkably fresh to this day.

What does music mean to you?  Music is not meant to terminate on itself, but rather it must be leveraged to enact as much good in the world as it can. While I take tremendous joy in my own practicing and performance, I feel that music is something I can offer the world. It can bring peace or beauty into a world that desperately needs it, or it can provide a vessel for interacting with and processing the pain we encounter. Music can be a tremendous force for healing and for good. As the saying goes: “Perhaps it is music that will save the world.”

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What do you do to relax?  I love to bicycle, run (distances from 5k to the Marathon), and hike whenever possible. I find that enjoying a physical hobby allows me to channel the intensity of the music process in a way that energizes and refocuses me. I also try to spend as much time as I can with my wife and two kids! Together, we love to listen to records, cook, and watch movies – especially Finding Dory.

Do you have any advice for young musiciansLearn to love the grind! Music is a process, and even as we progress, we never really arrive. Each day we must strive to be better than the day before, and if we can learn to love the process – not just the results – then we have a real shot to love and make music for our whole lives.

Please share any thoughts that you may have about the Northshore Concert Band.  The Northshore Concert Band is amazing! During my Master’s Degree at Northwestern many years ago (I won’t tell you just how many!), we had the opportunity to perform a side-by-side of “Dionysiaques” with SWE and NCB. The love of music, excellence in performance, and community dynamic that NCB embodied have made that performance a treasured memory. I’m simply delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Mallory Thompson & the NCB for this upcoming concert!


A special thank you to Mr. Hudson for generously sharing with us his thoughts and experiences! Please visit his website at www.theandyhudson.com to learn more about this rising star!


Don’t miss Andy Hudson’s solo clarinet performance during Star Wars: A New Hope, 3:00 pm November 5, 2017 concert at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the beautiful Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Illinois.  Reserve your seat today!

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Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

KELLEY GOSSLER

Kelley Gossler

Kelley Gossler plays the Clarinet and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2011. She is a music teacher and lives in Chicago.

When and why did you start playing?  I started playing in 5th grade because almost everyone joined band!

What do you enjoy most about playing?  It’s fun, I love working towards a bigger goal and hearing everything come together.

Do you have a favorite musical memory? Too many to choose from!!!!

Who was your most influential music teacher?  It’s difficult to choose just one teacher! My first greatest influence was my high school band director, Mr. Bixby. He made music incredibly fun and pushed our band to play at a very high level which was very satisfying. Another incredible influence has been Dr. Thompson! She was my mentor during my graduate degree at Northwestern and has proven to be an incredible teacher and role model.

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Learning an instrument takes a lot of work! Keep on trying, ask for help, listen to great performers, and never give up! And of course, make sure you’re always having fun and enjoying what you’re doing.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups?  My two favorite things about Northshore Concert Band is our commitment to excellence and the wonderful camaraderie within the band.  

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band  Friends, music, challenge

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

 

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

MANUEL RAMOS

Manuel Ramos

Manuel Ramos plays the Clarinet and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2015. He is a Private Lesson Coordinator at Merit School of Music and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started when I was 10 years old because my friends and I wanted to join the school band!

What do you enjoy most about playing? Creating connections between music and people. I think of it in terms of interpretation: You’re using your own musical words to create a personal understanding which you then pass on to the next person.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  When I was 16 years old, my high school took a trip to Sydney, Australia to premiere a Frank Ticheli work at the Sydney Opera House. I knew from that moment I wanted to perform for the rest of my life.

What are your musical influences? I’m not sure it’s a what but more a who! When I was younger I heard a clarinetist by the name of Sabine Meyer and haven’t stopped listening to her since. She’s a German clarinetist who has a career as an international soloist, talk about inspiring!

Who was your most influential music teacher? My high school band teacher, Michael Hutchinson. He was crass, hard-working, and wouldn’t settle for a mediocre performance. His challenging me set the standard for my work ethic today.

Does anyone in your family play music? Not professionally. My mother played violin for ten years when she was younger and my father dabbles in drum playing from time to time.

What’s on your iPod? A large variety spanning from Mozart and Brahms to popular music such as Drake or The Weeknd. I also have a soft spot for bossa nova music from artists like Bebel Gilberto!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Practicing is never measured in quantity, only quality.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Some groups have a cap to their limits but the NCB is always growing.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Education, Engaging, Inspiring

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you. When filling out college applications my original plan was to go to Emory University and study medicine!  

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

TYLER HOLSTROM

tyler holstrom

Tyler Holstrom plays the Clarinet and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2014. He is a Private Instructor and lives in Mokena, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started playing clarinet when I was eleven years old. My sister had started playing clarinet the year before, and this was my next scheme to one-up her in every way possible!

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  My favorite musical memory is my final wind ensemble concert as a student at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. The program was incredibly challenging: Ryan George’s “Firefly,” Ingolf Dahl’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone with Northwestern alumnus Sean Hurlburt, Florent Schmitt’s “Dionysiaques,” and Karel Husa’s “Music for Prague 1968” (which you heard at our season-opening concert, Zero to Sixty). It required countless hours of hard work from every member of the ensemble, but the reward was tremendous!

What are your musical influences? It goes without saying that Dr. Mallory Thompson is an incredible musical influence in my life, pushing me to perform at levels I didn’t even know I was capable of and enlightening me with countless new ideas every week. Aside from Dr. Thompson, my musical influences include Charlene Zimmerman (my former clarinet teacher) and Stephen Squires.

Who was your most influential music teacher? Professor Stephen Squires at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. After working with him in high school, I was blown away by his incredible musicianship, keen ear, and outrageous sense of humor. He’s the reason I chose CCPA, and continues to be a huge influence in my musical life.

Does anyone in your family play music? Nope! My sister quit playing once I beat her in chair placements in junior high.

What’s on your iPod? Exclusively classical and instrumental music: a lot of Dvorak, Barber, Britten, and Prokofiev. I also have a massive playlist of all my favorite band pieces, which gets played on constant repeat. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough room for all the music I love!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Always keep pursuing music! There are always opportunities to play and be involved in music, even if you decide to do something else professionally.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Playing with Northshore Concert Band was a dream of mine since the first time I heard the band as a child. In Northshore Band, you get to perform repertoire of the highest quality at a ridiculously high level – an experience that is hard to find outside of military bands. It’s also a great way for those of us who are not pursuing a performance career to keep playing great music with great people every week.

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  Fun facts about me: 1) I have an obsession with the aliens from Toy Story (“The CLAAAAAAW”). 2) One of my life goals is to own a French Bulldog. 3) My parents have come to every single one of my concerts since I started playing the clarinet in 2003. They may not have been awake for the whole concert, but they were there!

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!