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PSU Symphonic Band Performs "Shadowcatcher"

By Hannah Huckins; For The Clock
On March 14, 2017

“Dancing to Restore an Eclipsed Moon” (Kwakiutl 1914) by Edward Curtis,
the inspiration for the fourth movement of "Shadowcatcher."

The Plymouth State University Symphonic Band, directed by Mark Stickney, will perform with the Kryos Brass Quintet on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hanaway Theatre. They will be playing Eric Ewazen’s symphony “Shadowcatcher.”

 “Shadowcatcher” is about 35 minutes long, and made up of four movements. Each movement was inspired by a photograph of American Indians taken by Edward Curtis in the early 20th century.

The four photos are titled “Offering to the Sun” (Tewa Tribe 1925), “Among the Aspens” (Chippeaw Tribe 1926), “The Vanishing Race” (Navajo 1904), and “Dancing to Restore an Eclipsed Moon” (Kwakiutl 1914). 

The PSU Symphonic Band is made up of about 60 musicians from a variety of majors, as well as a few community members and PSU alumni. The band rehearses Monday and Wednesday nights from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m.

Practice for “Shadowcatcher," along with four other pieces the band is working on, began during the first week of classes this semester. They had a few days to rehearse with the Pennsylvania-based Kryos Brass Quintet.

“The band is very excited to perform the piece and is looking forward to our guests arriving,” said Stickney. “I know that the audience will hear a great concert. They will get to hear some very good professional musicians perform, and they will get to hear a great concert from the Symphonic Band. These students have worked hard, and the audience will enjoy the entire experience.”

The Kryos Brass Quintet, which will be accompanying the Symphonic Band, is a group comprised of two trumpets, one French horn, one trombone, and one tuba.

The tuba player, Jonathan Fowler, attended Rutgers University with Stickney. Robert Skoniczin, one of the trumpet players, attended Gettysburg College with Stickney.

“It is a great opportunity to perform with friends,” said Stickney. “Also, one of my goals is to expose the students here to professional musicians.”

Courtney Blanchard is a music education major, and she plays trumpet in Symphonic Band. “I am very excited to work with professional musicians. It's going to be a great experience and opportunity,” she said. “Being a brass player myself, I can't wait to hear and play with the Brass Quintet.”

Stickney said he is looking forward to tomorrow’s performance. “To me this is truly one of the best parts of my job; to be in front of a great group of students and community members.” 

“Shadowcatcher” will play on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hanaway Theatre at PSU’s Silver Center for the Arts. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, or online at plymouth.edu/ silver-center. 

COURTESY PHOTO / LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 

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