The Arizona Wind Symphony (AWS) kicks off the New Year by celebrating the Arizona Centennial in concert at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway.

The highlights of the Arizona-themed concert will be “Arizona Centennial Overture,” a work commissioned by the Arizona Commission on the Arts for the statewide celebration, and the winners of the second AWS small ensemble contest for high school students.

“Arizona Centennial Overture” pays tribute to the farmers and miners who first came to Arizona seeking a better life, to the Native American cultures that have touched us all, and the Hispanic influence this state.

High school musician ensembles audition the week before this concert and will perform their best numbers in a variety of genres for your listening pleasure. With the help of funding from Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, these groups will compete for performance incentives. The Arizona Wind Symphony’s first small-ensemble contest was very highly received last year. This year’s should be even more exciting!


The concert will also include marches recognizing Arizona, namely the “Pride of Arizona” and a work commissioned by the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODAD) entitled “ABODA Pioneers.” Continuing a theme from the Arizona Wind Symphony’s first concert of the season, “A Latin American Fantasy,” selected movements of “Symphony No. 3” by Robert W. Smith, follow the travels of Don Quixote, the Spanish Knight.

British composer Philip Sparke wrote “Sunrise at Angel’s Gate” after traveling to the Grand Canyon following a celebration at Northern Arizona University. The work attempts to cover the vastness of the Canyon while also realizing the delicate nuances of sight and sound in the morning as the sun reveals the Canyon and its depth. The concert travels to “Sedona” in a work written by Steven Reineke, the newly appointed conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. “Elegy for the U.S.S. Arizona” is musical work honoring the heroes of Pearl Harbor.


The January 11th concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets are $6.00*, and are available in advance or at the door. The ticket line is (480) 350-2822.


Now in its 11th season, the Arizona Wind Symphony is under the musical direction of William J. Richardson. The Arizona Wind Symphony is an 80 piece concert band comprised of adults whose careers cover a broad range including teaching, health care, music professionals, computer science, and many more. The common thread among the band members is to present music of the highest caliber.

The group is a Tempe-based non-profit organization. You can find more information at Follow the Arizona Wind Symphony on Facebook by searching for “Arizona Wind Symphony.” The next concert is entitled “Continental Drift” and will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2012.  This concert will include a guest appearance by ASU Trumpet Professor Emeritus David Hickman.
Please feel free to share this announcement with your friends – the Arizona Wind Symphony welcomes all patrons.