The Connecticut Symphonic Winds performs free “Latin Fantasy” concert

The Connecticut Symphonic winds, a wind ensemble featuring 75 musicians, will present “A Latin Fantasy” Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m., at the Roger Ludlowe Middle School, 689 Unquowa Road in Fairfield.

The program will feature Latin music from around the world, including the overture to Bizet’s Carmen, Fiesta Mexicana, and Danzer #2, a Cuban work. A highlight will be Richard Meyer’s Pablo, a multi-media presentation where the rich musical palette is enhanced with projected images of works by Pablo Picasso, thanks to a grant from Pepsico. Music director/conducter Charles Brian DePaul says he has been wanting to do a Latin theme concert for years, but was waiting to find the right combination of complementary music.

Fairfield is now one of nine Connecticut coastal towns that have their own representative concert organization. Earlier this year, the Connecticut Symphonic Winds received the honorary title, “The Concert Wind Esemble of Fairfied” from First Selectman Michael Tetreau, in appreciation of its ongoing cultural contribution to the Town of Fairfield and to the greater Fairfield and New Haven counties. A second concert, “Celebrate the Holiday Season with the Connecticut Symphonic Winds” is planned for December 12 at 1 pm, also at the Roger Ludlowe Middle School.

The Connecticut Symphonic Winds — which has played in Carnegie Hall three times — is unique in many ways, not least because of its varied repertoire. Fans enjoy a musical smorgasbord, ranging from classical composers to Broadway melodies, movie soundtracks and cutting edge contemporary music.

“We also showcase pieces that no other perfomance group does,” says Music Director and Conductor, Charles Brian DePaul, “and we have access to European music that is not available in America at this time, such as Andrew Lloyd Weber’s ‘The Woman in White’ score, which we will be playing next Spring in our March concert.” After studying at Julliard, DePaul became assistant to former Boston Symphony maestro Erich Leinsdorf, both in the US and worldwide.

Another unique facet of the Connecticut Symphonic Winds is that their concerts are “free” to the public, depite the fact that many of the 75 musicians are full or part time professionals. Conductor DePaul says that the professionals in the group say, “I don’t play for free anywhere else but here – because it’s worth it!” The ensemble also includes many music educators, as well as talented individuals in other fields, for whom music is a passion. However, all prospective members must audition prior to being accepted. Ages range from high school students to people in their seventies, who meet for weekly rehearsals where their passion for making music is contagious, even to a bystander.

Connecticut Symphonic Winds (CSW) is celebrating its 30th year of performances in 2016. Originally founded in Stratford, Connecticut, the ensemble had early performances at the Shakespeare Theater in both Stratford, Connecticut and Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, plus Ontario, Canada, and venues in Germany, Austria and Lichtenstein, prior to their three concerts at Carnegie Hall since l990.The ensemble has consistently expanded its geographical performing reach, as well as its size and breadth of performed music.

CSW President, Vin Florentino says, “CSW offers no plucking, bowing or rosin! As a true wind ensemble, this group will blow you away!” CSW concert Host Dave Pressler adds: “CSW is truly unique as a grand, wind ensemble – with a strong, dynamic sound that expresses the character of each piece in a way that emotionally moves the audience.”

On hearing a summer CSW concert, Pulitzer Prize nominated music critic Linda Phillips said,”The Connecticut Symphonic Winds is the future of musical performance. As audiences for traditional classical music are shrinking, many different strains and genres of music reflecting a variety of cultures and time frames are being programmed together and creating a synergy for contemporary audiences of all ages.”

To learn more about the CSW, go to ctsymphonicwinds.org or call 203-386-1625.

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