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This Sunday, February 12th at 3:00pm at the Evangelical Church of the Cross, The Winnipeg Wind Ensemble (WWE) will be presenting the second concert of their 2022-23 season called "Stories in Sound." This concert will feature music of Leonard Bernstein, Morton Lauridsen, and the great Dutch composer Johann De Meij. It will even include a World premiere performance of a work written by Manitoba composer Chris Byman.

The title of this concert carries a lot of significance. As the ensemble’s Music Director Virginia Helmer explains, “I wanted to do a concert that featured music that was written for… or about pieces of literature. When I got into looking for the repertoire I found that there were lots of great things that we could do and there is a really varied program, so I am excited to share it.”

The central piece on the program is Johann de Meij’s “The Wind in Willows Suite.” Inspired by Kenneth Grahame’s children’s novel of the same name, this four movement suite depicts some of the characters in music, while at the same time depicting events in the book. Known for his mastery of Wind Ensemble Orchestration, this music by de Meij will be sure to entertain and engage audiences.

One of the other highlights on the program is a world premiere performance of a piece by Manitoba composer and clarinetist Chris Byman. The WWE will be performing his piece titled “The Fox and the Rose.” Based on chapter 21 of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella “Le Petit Prince,” This music is inspired by the story of the fox who teaches the Prince to take care of and love his rose. This work also draws on the late renaissance-early baroque composer Michael Praetorius’s piece “Lo, how a rose e’er blooming” for inspiration.

For this concert the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble will be welcoming to the stage the Winnipeg Youth Wind Ensemble. They will be performing on their own music of John Williams, Brian Balmages and Manitoba composer, Music Educator Fraser Linklater.

The Winnipeg Youth Wind Ensemble is a group that is made up of band students from Grades 5 to 10 who want to supplement and enrich their music education by performing music with students from across the city while at the same time becoming stronger and more proficient musicians. As Helmer explains, “They are a spin off group from the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble. There are a lot of teachers in our group, and one of our mandates has always been to try to encourage musical growth in young people. This is a band for people who are looking for a little extra experience playing in a really good group…It will be great to hear them!”

The concert “Stories in Sound” takes place this Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm at Evangelical Church of the Cross at 560 Arlington Street. The cost of the concert is pay what you can.

This is sure to be a very entertaining and engaging concert. What a terrific way to spend a Sunday afternoon in February! For more details visit the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble’s website.