Symphonic Band Presents a Concert Tribute to Maestro Frederick Fennell Saturday, Feb. 26

Dr. Neal Schnoor
UNK director of Bands, 308.865.88631

The Symphonic Band at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will present a A Tribute to Maestro Frederick Fennell at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

According to Dr. Neal Schnoor, UNK Symphonic Band director, “Maestro Fennell is perhaps the most significant figure in the symphonic wind band movement in the United States and abroad that occurred during the last half of the 20th century.

“Fennell created the Eastman Wind Ensemble in 1952, establishing the wind/percussion medium as a truly artistic performance ensemble for which contemporary composers,” Dr. Schnoor noted, adding that Fennell then began to write original music of increasing technical difficulty and musical/aesthetic expression. Fennell was also the principal conductor of the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra in Japan, principal guest conductor of the Dallas Wind Symphony and Interlochen Arts Academy, and frequently appeared in numerous other guest conducting stints with the Boston Pops Orchestra as well as performances with the Carnegie Hall Pops Concerts and the Boston Esplanade concerts.

He also appeared with the Denver, San Diego, National, Hartford, St. Louis and London Symphonies, and the Buffalo, Calgary and Greater Miami Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New Orleans Philharmonic. Maestro Frederick Fennell died in December at the age of 90.

According to Dr. Schnoor, Fennell also was a pioneer in the area of recording music for winds/percussion.

“Maestro Fennell produced recordings of contemporary music, but also recorded great literature for wind and percussion instruments from past eras that was rarely heard in live performance,” Dr. Schnoor said. He added that this aspect of Fennell’s legend inspired the literature selected for the upcoming concert.

“Each composition on our program was recorded by ensembles under Fennell’s direction – few receiving more attention than a landmark recording with the Cleveland Symphonic Winds in 1978,” he said. The UNK concert will feature three of the four compositions heard on that recording, including Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks,Bach’s Fantasia in G and
Holst’s First Suite in Eb.

Completing the concert, the band will also perform three Fennell favorites, including Grainger’s Irish Tune from County Derry and Shepherd’s Hey and Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Dr. Schnoor added, “We are very excited to present a concert in tribute to Maestro Fennell that includes truly artistic music that is at the same time immediately pleasing to audiences of all ages.”

The concert is free and open to the public.