Auditions, rehearsals, planning and performing culminate in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the University of Lethbridge Wind Orchestra and members of Global Drums as they descend on the city of Chiayi, Taiwan to participate in the City of Chiayi International Band Festival December 14 – 20. Under the direction of Dr. Chee Meng Low, the U of L Wind Orchestra is familiar with playing at high calibre events and sharing their music with audiences of all ages. However, as Dr. Low suggests, the festival is more than just a tour; it’s an experience for the Orchestra to perform on an international stage and an opportunity for students to learn and work with peers and musicians on a global scale.
Participation in this annual event involves a rigorous audition process as hopeful wind ensembles and marching bands compete for a chance to perform. Low says the planning took over a year, and they were pleased to hear the great news, this spring, that their hard work had paid off.
“This is an invaluable experience for our students to play for a different audience and to interact with bands from all over the world. Participating in CCIBF will open the world to them and provide them even more chances to perform. I’ve very much looking forward to our performances and to talking with the other bands and to audiences as well,” says Low.
The intensive week-long festival involves not only world-class performances, but in-depth masterclasses, sectionals and sessions for students to build their skills. Global Drums director, Adam Mason, Music Department instructor, Yukari Sasada, and band director, Keith Griffioen will accompany Low and the students for the duration of the festival.
A pre-tour concert is scheduled November 22 at 7:30 pm, in the University Theatre where many of the pieces featured on the U of L Wind Orchestra’s festival program will be performed. “We are playing a piece called A Symphonic Poem “Taiwan” by Toshio Mashima,” says Low. “Other selections include Dreaming of the Masters I by Allan Gilliland and Duende by Luis Serrano Alarcón.”
Tickets for the U of L Wind Orchestra Goes to Taiwan – A Pre-tour Concert are available at the U of L Box Office (Monday – Friday) 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm, or by calling 403-329-2616. Tickets are also available online ulethbridge.ca/tickets. Tickets are $20 regular, $15 seniors and alumni, $12 students.