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Wind Ensemble offers world premiere

Michael Weinstein
Michael Weinstein

The MIT Wind Ensemble, directed by Frederick Harris Jr., will premiere a new work by Boston composer Michael Weinstein in a concert paying tribute to the late John Corley on Friday, March 16. The free concert in Kresge Auditorium at 8pm will be preceded by a talk by Dr. Weinstein about his work at 7pm.

Roman Odes, written for chorus and winds, will be performed with the MIT Chamber Chorus, directed by William Cutter.

Dr. Weinstein, who is on the faculties of Wheelock College, the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory, set the 11 short movements of the work to Latin texts from Horace's four books of odes. Dr. Weinstein especially identifies the Benediction movement with Mr. Corley, noting that the text "describes the poet flying through the air, taking leave of the city and asking for no special ritual or eulogy at his death, the sole monument being his works."

Mr. Corley, who founded the MIT Concert Band and led the ensemble for 51 years, established a repertoire of 350 pieces with the ensemble and commissioned 40 new works. He died in October 2000 at the age of 81.

"John Corley's legacy to us is a body of important music written for concert band and an example of tireless dedication to his pursuit of his life's passion," said Dr. Weinstein, who knew and admired Mr. Corley.

Dr. Harris founded the wind ensemble in 1999 to expand the range and depth of performing opportunities for woodwind, brass and percussion players at MIT. "Very few works have been composed for the combination of winds and chorus," he said. "Roman Odes is a contribution to the overall body of literature performed by such ensembles today."

In addition to Mr. Weinstein's composition, the wind ensemble will perform Grainger's Handel in the Strand, Colonial Song and The Gum-Suckers March, and Copland's Down a Country Lane.

Guest artists will include MIT Affiliated Artist Jean Rife on horn and the student-run MIT Concert Band.

For more information, call x3-2826.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 14, 2001.

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