MARQUETTE, Mich. - Northern's symphonic band, under the direction of Stephen Grugin, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Peterson Auditorium in Ishpeming.

The program will include repertoire that ranges from patriotic salutes to Israeli folk dance to an original composition by one of the group's members.

The band will perform Enduring Freedom, which was composed by Brandon Nelson, an NMU sophomore and Ishpeming native.  Nelson, a music education major, wrote the piece in response to President George Bush's address to the nation following the Sept.  11 terrorist attacks and the ensuing military action in Afghanistan, called Operation Enduring Freedom.

"I wrote this ceremonial march shortly after the Sept.  11 attacks," said Nelson.  "I think the music of this piece is bold and decisive and symbolizes the strength of our nation's response in the face of national crisis."

This will be the second Nelson composition the band has performed recently, the other being An Old Sailor's Tune, played at last year's commencement ceremonies.  Following graduation from NMU, Nelson plans to attend graduate school to study composition.

Other works slated for the concert are Flag of Stars: A Salute to America, a symphonic overture by Gordon Jacob; Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral from Lohengrin; Rikudim: Four Israeli Folk Dances for Band by Netherlands composer Jan Van der Roost; The Glory of the Yankee Navy by John Philip Sousa; Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams; and Scherzo for Band by Gioaccino Rossini.

The performance will conclude with The Lord of the Rings by Johan de Meij, a symphonic piece based on the trilogy of that name by British writer J.R.R. Tolkien, but composed in 1987, 15 years before the release of the now popular movie.

Northern's symphonic band has grown to around 70 members and has seen tremendous improvement in its instrumentation, according to Grugin.

"In each of the last five years I've told this group it has the potential to be the best symphonic band that NMU has had in a long time, and each year it's been true," said Grugin.  "Because of our growth and musical advancement, we are now able to take on some very challenging and exciting pieces of music."

The concert is free of an admission charge and is one of two performances the band will undertake this semester.  The final performance of the year is Apfil 24 at Forest Roberts Theatre.

Prepared By
Cindy Paavola
Director of Communications