After a 31-year career as Director of Bands at Carroll University, Dr. Lawrence Dale Harper will conduct his last concert on Saturday, April 29. Harper, 62, announced his retirement in January 2017 in order to pursue professional music projects on an international level, including his own Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, which was founded in 1995 and is one of the few ensembles of its kind in the world.
"It has been such a joy to be able to make beautiful music on a daily basis over the last three decades," said Harper. "The students I’ve had the privilege to work with have always been enthusiastic and interested in playing instruments simply for their sheer love of music."
Beyond his work at Carroll, Harper has served as a clinician and guest conductor throughout the United States, as well as in Central America, Europe, and the Middle East. Additionally, he has been a guest teacher of conducting at several universities around the world including the University of Wisconsin, the University of Péc, Hungary and the National Institute of Music of Costa Rica. Harper is also an active member of the College Band Directors National Association and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, a group for which he served as the chair of the Professional Band Network.
For his final performance, the Carroll University Wind Symphony under the direction of Dr. Harper will present a concert on Saturday, April 29 beginning at 8 pm in the Shattuck Music Center Auditorium. The concert is free and the public is cordially invited to attend.
The Wind Symphony will be assisted by several outstanding musicians from Italian Conservatories as part of Carroll’s International Music Project, led by Dr. Harper and Italian maestro Filippo Salemmi. The students will visit the institution for two weeks in April, stay with host families and participate in a weeklong MusicFest that includes master classes in conducting and analysis, chamber music coaching, solo recitals and rehearsals in preparation for the finale concert.
Select members of the Wind Ensemble of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee under the direction of Dr. Scott Corley will also perform with the ensemble.
The concert will feature Maestro Salemmi conducting the classic wind band piece by distinguished composer, Darius Milhaud: his Suite Francaise. The suite of five movements is based upon folk songs from five provinces in France, ones which the composer identifies specifically as where American and Allied armies fought together with the French underground during WWII for the liberation of the country.
The major work of the evening, lasting 30 minutes, will be the monumental Symphony No. 4 by American composer David Maslanka. This deeply moving and majestic masterwork will be performed by the 85-member combined ensemble of winds and percussion along with harp, piano and the magnificent Schantz pipe organ.
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