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Wind ensemble to perform in Carnegie Hall next year
Carnegie Hall Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium

Tarleton State University

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—They say the best way to get to Carnegie Hall is to practice. While the saying attributed to Russian violinist Jascha Heifetz is certainly valid, another method to get to the prestigious landmark is to be a member of the Tarleton State University Wind Ensemble.

The Tarleton Wind Ensemble is slated to perform at Carnegie Hall on April 23, 2014.

Dr. Anthony Pursell, Tarleton’s director of bands, recently informed members of the wind ensemble that their application to perform at the national venue was accepted. “At the end of rehearsal I shut off the lights in the band hall and had the projector screen on. Once I told the students our application was accepted, I told them that this was going to be their viewpoint during our concert,” he said.

Then Pursell released the shutter to the projector and the students saw an image of Carnegie Hall from the stage looking into the house. Junior clarinet music performance major Martin Veloz said, “I was thinking this is just too good to be true! When I was in high school I dreamt about performing at Carnegie Hall. Who knew that just a couple years later I would be given the privilege to travel with the wind ensemble to New York and perform at Carnegie Hall.”

Junior music education major Destin Chapman said, “When the announcement was made, it took me a good 30 seconds after I heard the words 'Carnegie Hall' to process it. I was completely shocked by this.”

The opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall came from an application that Pursell completed earlier this year. “As part of the application I had to submit a recording of the wind ensemble and a list of recently performed literature. I used several tracks from our most recent concerts in the fall of 2012,” Pursell explained. “I also used one track from the second annual Invitational Band Festival with Frank Ticheli conducting his work Vesuvius as well as two recordings from the inaugural Invitational Band Festival with Col. John Bourgeois, USMC (Ret) conducting.”

Pursell was notified several weeks after making the application of the ensemble’s acceptance. “That is when my blood pressure must have raised to a dangerous level,” said Pursell.

Plans for the historic trip are already under way. “Right now I am planning on an exciting list of literature that will connect with both local New Yorkers and for those traveling with us from Texas,” said Pursell. “I certainly want us to do a work by Leonard Bernstein. How can you not hear Bernstein when you are in that hall?”

Pursell recently acquired copies of three original marches by Joe Edwards. One of these marches, titled Tarleton Forever, has the inscription,  “Dedicated to Miss Marjorie Neblett, sponsor of the Tarleton Band.”

“This march is a very special find as it is a piece of our history,” said Pursell. He plans to arrange the march for the modern day concert ensemble while keeping the style true to the time period it was originally conceived.

Carnegie Hall’s main auditorium seats 2,804 on five levels and was named for violinist Isaac Stern in 1997. Known as the most prestigious concert stage in the United States, almost all of the leading classical music, and more recently, popular music, performers since 1891 have performed there. The main hall was home to the performances of the New York Philharmonic from 1892 until 1962.


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Kurt Mogonye

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