Arizona Wind Symphony begins new year with “Cityscape”

The Arizona Wind Symphony

The Arizona Wind Symphony

The Arizona Wind Symphony rings in 2016 with a concert entitled Cityscapes, an artistic exploration of cities and regions around the world. No passport is required to go along on this musical journey at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13 at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Paris Sketches was written by British composer Martin Ellerby. He called the work a tribute to a city he loves. Each of the four movements honors specific locations within the Paris city limit. The four scenes are Saint-Germain-des-Pres (Latin Quarter); Pigalle (the Soho of Paris); Pere Lachaise (the city’s largest cemetery); and Les Halles (the old market area).

The ensemble will stay overseas with Philip Sparke’s Postcard from Singapore. This three-movement work is based on traditional folk songs that local children learn. Coming back to the U.S., Philip Sparke also composed A Weekend in New York; a piece that captures the excitement of visitor’s first taste of Manhattan. The music depicts a street scene; a bit of the blues and a closing melody reflecting the awe of the New York experience.

From the stage of Broadway, AWS will perform a collection of songs from the musicals Oklahoma (composer Richard Rodgers) and Chicago (composer John Kander).

Robert Russell Bennett was a noted American composer who was raised in Missouri and the Midwest heartlands. His work Autobiography is a reflection on various locations in his life. The Arizona Wind Symphony presents Part One, containing the first three movements: 1894 – Cherry Street; 1899 – South Omaha; 1900 – Corn, Cows and Music. This piece has local ties as it was written while he was staying in an Arizona hotel. Keeping the Missouri theme, the audience will swing with W.C. Handy’s St. Louis Blues.

How does a circus march entitled His Honor fit into this program? Composer Henry Filmore wrote the work to honor Russell Wilson, mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio from 1930 to 1937.

What: Cityscapes

When: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 13

Where: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway

Tickets: $9 plus service fees; K-12 students $6; children under 6 years free. Tickets are available at the TCA Box Office or through

Now in its 15th season, the Arizona Wind Symphony is under the musical direction of William J. Richardson. It has grown to be a 95-piece concert band comprised of adults whose careers cover a broad range including teaching, health care, music professionals, computer science and many more. The common thread among the band members is to present music of the highest caliber. The group is a Tempe-based non-profit organization, funded in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the City of Tempe. You can find more information and the full 2015-2016 concert dates at Follow the Arizona Wind Symphony on Facebook by searching for Arizona Wind Symphony.