Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs with new members
GVL / Amy Hammond
GVSU students rehearsing for ensemble.
Grand Valley State University students, faculty and community members will have a chance to listen to the very first public performance of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by GVSU’s director of University Bands, Barry Martin on Oct. 14.
Martin has been teaching and conducting at GVSU since 1994, after completing his master’s degree at the University of Illinois and serving as the assistant director of Bands and the director of Athletic Band at the University of Akron. He now oversees GVSU’s entire band program.
When Martin first came to GVSU, the band program only had one director and just more than 100 students in the program. Now, Martin said the band program has nearly 500 students and four conductors.
“We work well together,” Martin said. “It’s certainly the way we want to do things.” Martin said the Symphonic Wind Ensemble has some of the best wind band musicians on campus because they’re focused and hardworking. He strives to push the ensemble to play their best and stay diligent with their work.
“It’s a challenging ensemble to play in, and very demanding, but a good ensemble,” said Richard Grooters, a percussionist in the ensemble. “It’s the most talented one I’ve ever been a part of.”
Even with the new group of students that joined the ensemble, Martin isn’t worried about a poor show.
“They’re right on track,” Martin said. “I think it’s going to be a great performance, it’s something a lot of people are going to want to hear. It’s a very fine group.”
Ashley Stanley, flutist for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, said she’s excited for their first performance. Despite the difficulty of the music, Stanley said “there’s definitely a ‘team effort’ attitude about this ensemble that will definitely show in the concert.”
The Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert starts 3 p.m. in the Louis Armstrong Theatre, located in the Performing Arts Center on GVSU’s Allendale Campus. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (616) 331-3484.