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Wartburg Wind Ensemble performs in Charles City

  • The Wartburg College Wind Ensemble performed at the North Grand Auditorium Sunday evening, along with some members of the CCHS band, as something of a preview concert before the group travels to Japan in May. The free-will donation event was hosted by the Charles City School District. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • The Wartburg College Wind Ensemble performed at the North Grand Auditorium Sunday evening, along with some members of the CCHS band, as something of a preview concert before the group travels to Japan in May. The free-will donation event was hosted by the Charles City School District. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • The Wartburg College Wind Ensemble performed at the North Grand Auditorium Sunday evening, along with some members of the CCHS band, as something of a preview concert before the group travels to Japan in May. The free-will donation event was hosted by the Charles City School District. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • The Wartburg College Wind Ensemble performed at the North Grand Auditorium Sunday evening, along with some members of the CCHS band, as something of a preview concert before the group travels to Japan in May. The free-will donation event was hosted by the Charles City School District. (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

The Wartburg Wind Ensemble added a Sunday evening stop in Charles City to its busy schedule last week.

The 53-member group of Wartburg’s finest undergrad wind and percussion players performed at the North Grand Auditorium Sunday, along with some members of the Charles City High School band, as something of a preview concert before the college group travels to Japan in May. The freewill donation event was hosted by the Charles City School District.

The group’s tour of Japan will start May 8, with six performances throughout the country May 8-19. The ensemble group has toured Europe 11 times. The group first toured Japan in 2007 and returned to China and Japan in 2013.

Most of the groups’ members are in multiple music ensembles. They rehearse each class day for 70 minutes, and perform up to 35 times each year. The groups’ conductor, Craig A. Hancock, is in his 24th year as director of bands at Wartburg. He has held similar positions at Wayne State, Graceland and Simpson College, where he earned his degree in music education. He earned masters and doctorate degrees in music from the University of Iowa.

Hancock has also completed three seasons as the conductor of the Greater Waverly Area Band and has served as president of the Waterloo Municipal Band Board.

Selections performed Sunday during the two-hour show included “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key, “Kimigayo” by Hayashi, “Slava!” by Leonard Bernstein, “Melodius Thunk” by David Biedenbender, “Festal Ballade” by Yasuhide Ito, “Clarinet Candy” by Leroy Anderson, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Standridge, James Barnes’s Third Symphony (Opus 89), “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre, “Fantasie and Variations (Carnival of Venice) by J.B. Arban, and “Semper Fidelis” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.

Dr. Eric Wachmann was the clarinet soloist for a performance of Ticheli’s “Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble.” Wachmann is a professor of music at Wartburg and the principal clarinet with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. He has performed extensively with professional orchestras and ensembles nationally and internationally and has the distinction of performing with the likes of Yo Yo Ma, Nadia Solerno-Sonnenberg, Midori and Peter Schickele.

Wachmann earned his music degree at the University of Ottawa, his masters from Michigan and his doctorate at North Carolina.

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