Arizona Wind Symphony presents “From Sea to Shining Sea” Nov. 2

Vicki Deken

Kicking off the 2016-17 season, the Arizona Wind Symphony presents From Sea to Shining Sea at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 2 at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. AWS will be performing a variety of works conveying the thoughts above. Tickets are $10 plus service fees; K-12 students $7; children under six years free. Tickets are available at the TCA Box Office or through

In the area of beauty, the group plays glorious melodies from the ballet Applachian Spring. This work by Aaron Copland is a staple in the orchestra world. Robert Longfield has adapted this work for symphony band.

The composition Endless Rainbows by Brian Balmages depicts the fine mists of water and the bold light which generates the strong colors of a rainbow.

Fancis McBeth wrote Of Sailors and Whales to tell the story of Melville’s Moby Dick. Starting in the calm ocean waters, the work climaxes with the battle of the whale.

Combining patriotism mixed with beauty, Ira Hearshen took famous American melodies and wove them into a magnificent new work. Melodies from America the Beautiful, Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean and Battle Hymn of the Republic are all presented in meters not normally heard in the normal settings.

The band will also perform a medley from The Patriot (the movie). Ever famous film composer John Williams scored marches and chorales in this presentation. In the movie, Mel Gibson portrays Benjamin Martin, who is forced to join the American Revolution when the British threaten to take his farm away from him. Together with his patriotic son, Gabriel, the pair faces the vicious Redcoats with a heroism that reflects the stubborn pride of a young country’s most dedicated supporters.

Winged Victory by Brian Balmages takes the melody from Drunken Sailor and turns it into a heroic presentation.

The AWS welcomes the return of former member Alex Austin to play the The Glass Bead Game, a work for horn solo. Alex studied at ASU. He then moved to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory of Music before moving back here to pursue a professional career. The composition is based on the Herman Hesse novel of the same name.

Of course, the AWS will throw in a march. This time they include Sousa’s Hands Across the Sea.

Now in its 16th 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.