Arizona Wind Symphony presents “Celebration of Dance”

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Arizona Wind Symphony presents Celebration of Dance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets are $9 plus service fees. Tickets are available at the TCA Box Office or through

The 95-piece ensemble will perform works celebrating the art of dance in styles from all over the world. We hope you have saved a few steps from your own New Year’s dance celebration.

The audience will be treated to two special guest performances during the concert. The AWS welcomes three young dancers to the stage during Riverdance, representing the Tir Conaill Academy of Irish Dance. During Armenian Dances, Hungarian-born Eva Bukovinszky will introduce the audience to the duduk, a traditional Armenian instrument.

Dance Bacchanale is taken from Camille Saint-Saens’ opera Samson and Delilah. In the opera, the dance is set in Temple of Dagon where the priests dance about a sacrifice that was to take place. Satiric Dances was written in 1975 by American Norman Dello Joio and features music influenced by Mediterranean folk dances.

The March King, John Philip Sousa, wrote a rag time march called With Pleasure. The subtitle of the work is Dance Hilarious. Danzon No. 2 is a Mexican work transcribed for band after originating in the orchestral world. In Gypsy Dance, Robert Ambrose beautifully transcribed Max Schonherr’s arrangement of Joseph Hellmesberger Jr.’s arrangement of Gypsy Dance from the ballet The Pearl of Iberia. This is an exciting, fast moving work with a melody that musicians and listeners will enjoy and remember.

Seis Manuel is the third movement of the suite Islas y Montaas and represents the traditional song and dance form of the Jibaro people, peasant farmers from the mountains of Puerto Rico. Solos are given to low brass and clarinets, important instruments in Puerto Rican military bands.

For those who joined us in February and heard the angelic voice of Liam Boyd, you’ll now see a different dimension of his talents as he and others from the Tir Conaill Academy of Irish Dance join in Irish dance as the band performs selections from Riverdance. Based in Tucson, the Tir Conaill Academy boasts numerous student performances and awards, including western regional champion titles, consistent top 10 placements at the national level, and multiple world medals at the World Irish Dance Championships. The academy’s students have also performed with internationally renowned traditional Irish cabarets, including the Chieftains, Beoga, Teada, The Trinity Irish Dance Company, and Full Set.

American composer Alfred Reed wrote several suites of Armenian Dances. The AWS will perform Part One; a setting of five traditional Armenian dance melodies. In conjunction with that band work, we’ll also present some Armenian melodies on the rarely heard ‘duduk.’ Hungarian-born Eva Bukovinszky will introduce you to this Armenian instrument.

Now in its 14th 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 at Follow the Arizona Wind Symphony on Facebook by searching for Arizona Wind Symphony.