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The University of Michigan Symphony Band and SJTU Symphony Band Concert

May 17, 2012      Author: School of Humanities

At 7pm, May 15, the University of Michigan Symphony Band and SJTU Symphony Band presented a music feast on Minhang Campus. SJTU Vice President Xu Fei and over a thousand SJTU teachers and students enjoyed the concert in Jingjing Auditorium.

The concert consisted of 14 pieces of wonderful musical compositions, verified in form. In particular, "Glad Tidings", "Simple Gifts" and "Slava!" jointly performed by SJTU and the University of Michigan (UM) won waves of applauses. UM Students specially performed instrumental solo for SJTU students. The drum solo "A Minute of News" by drummer John Van Duinen won loud cheering for its precise rhythms, fancy techniques, interesting ideas and passionate performance. The concert ended with three pieces of dance music which aroused one climax after another. The audience burst into thunderous applause at the last wave of the baton.

It is reported that this time 24 people of UM Symphony Band were involved and they arrived in Shanghai on May 11. After a short rest, they started to rehearse with SJTU Symphony Band at the weekend.

The University of Michigan Symphony Band is widely considered a leader of the modern American wind band movement, with a reputation as one of the most outstanding groups of its kind. This tradition of excellence started in 1927, when Leonard Falcone was hired as Director of Bands and began to expand the scope of the band program beyond the athletic field and parade ground. In 1935, William D. Revelli-a name that continues to resonate with band lovers-was hired. The "Chief" introduced rigorous standards of performance excellence and a level of musicianship never before witnessed in this uniquely American form. Revelli began to build a modern repertory through commissions expressly for symphony band. And he began the touring tradition at the University of Michigan. A watershed moment was the 1961 State Department-sponsored tour of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. At the end of the fifteen-week tour, reviews lauded the students as exemplary in their discipline and comportment and remarked on the versatility and purity of their sound. Throughout the years, the touring tradition has continued.

The Symphony Band continued its touring tradition in May 2011 when it embarked on a three-week tour of mainland China. The Band achieved extraordinary results when it conducted its special performance on May 13, 2011 at SJTU.

This time the visit to China is led by two UM musical professors, Dr. John. D. Pasquale and Dr. Collin Conway, together with over 20 music majors. After this concert, they will go to Chang'an University and Renmin University of China to continue the cross-cultural music performance and exchange.


Translated by Wang Jie | Reviewed by Tian Cong