WP Chamber Wind Ensemble and Community Symphony Orchestra to Perform at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, April 28

The William Paterson University Chamber Wind Ensemble and Community Symphony Orchestra will take their place on the main stage of America’s most celebrated concert hall on Sunday, April 28 when they perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of Distinguished Concerts International, New York’s Windsongs Concert Series.

The performance begins at 2:00 p.m. in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. For more information, and for the link to purchase tickets, visit https://www.wpunj.edu/wppresents/wp-music/.

The program will include a wide variety of music. The WP Chamber Wind Ensemble will perform a powerful musical narrative on the immigrant experience, “Fanfarria” by Hispanic American composer Giovanni Santos, along with two movements, “Ayacahuite” and “Sahuaro,” from Little Mexican Suite by Mexican composer Nubia Jaime Donjuan.

The Community Symphony Orchestra will perform three audience favorites: Dvorak's G minor “Slavonic Dance” (op. 46, no. 8); Josef Strauss’s polka “Feuerfest!,” written to celebrate the 20,000th fireproof safe manufactured by the Wertheimer Company in Austria during the 19th century and featuring William Paterson administrators as guest anvil performers; and the popular “Danse Bacchanale” from French composer Camille Saint-Saens’ most celebrated opera, Samson et Dalila.

The two groups from William Paterson will share the concert with the Ed W. Clark High School Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra from Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The acoustics of this magnificent hall allow for the music to come forth in all its glory, enabling players to rise to a higher level of personal and artistic expression simply by being able to hear and interact with each other across the entire stage,” says Sandra Dackow, director of the Community Symphony Orchestra and a William Paterson adjunct professor of music who teaches strings. “Who wouldn't want to perform in a venue which could inspire your best work, both as an individual and as an ensemble?" 

The two ensembles performing at Carnegie Hall are part of a vibrant musical culture on the WP campus and within the Department of Music, which hosts a full complement of large and small ensembles and undergraduate and master’s level degree offerings.

The Chamber Wind Ensemble, the premiere large ensemble for woodwind and brass players and percussionists, is an auditioned group which represents many areas of study across the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. While music majors comprise the majority of students in the group, there are also members majoring in biology, nursing, public relations, and speech pathology. The ensemble meets as a curricular course and offers students the opportunity to develop technical skills, grow their musicianship, and experience the power of large ensemble music-making.

“To perform at the famed Carnegie Hall is an extraordinary thing for our students, most of whom have dedicated years to learning and honing their craft,” says Teresa Purcell-Giles, assistant professor of music and director of bands at William Paterson. “Sharing the experience with both our Community Symphony Orchestra and the Clark High School ensembles is especially meaningful. It is also a testament to our students’ wonderful work and to the exceptional community one can find in making music with others. I am hopeful that our audience will witness the unique bond that takes place between student musicians all working together to tell a story, and especially that the programmed music will be meaningful to many in attendance.”

The WP Community Symphony Orchestra is comprised of music majors, non-music majors, alumni, and members of the community. Under the direction of Dr. Dackow, the orchestra rehearses once a week and typically performs standard repertoire for the symphony orchestra.  

Waseem Shakhshir, a flutist and third-year student, is a member of both the Chamber Wind Ensemble and the Community Symphony Orchestra. “As a music major in the sound engineering program, I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to continue performing regularly, especially on the prestigious stage of Carnegie Hall,” he says. “As an international student from Palestine, these performances hold additional significance for me, as they allow me to represent my country on one at the world's most iconic performance halls.”

Music education major, violinist, and third-year student Agustin Tecalero concurs. “When I found out the orchestra was performing at Carnegie Hall, I was so excited,” he says. “I'm grateful for the opportunity to be performing on one of the greatest stages in the world with the WP Community Orchestra.”

“The support of the faculty at William Paterson have allowed me to explore possibilities outside of my focus a vocalist,” says senior Zoe Vandergast, a vocalist, violist, and double major in music studies and psychology. “I've been able to maintain my passion as an instrumentalist thanks to the fierce mentorship of Dr. Sandra Dackow and Dr. Kathleen Butler-Hopkins (adjunct professor of strings, violin/viola). I’m thankful to the WP community for giving me the space to do what I love.”