AZ Wind Symphony presents “March On” March 1


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We know that March is the third month of the year, but for the Arizona Wind Symphony, a march is a very common musical form. For this concert, the Arizona Wind Symphony presents music centering around the concept of marches. “March On” takes stage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, at the Tempe Center for the Arts (700 W. Rio Salado Parkway). On this night, the AWS will also welcome some of the state’s most talented high school musicians as the winners of the seventh annual AWS Small Ensemble Competition.

John Philip Sousa earned the title “March King” based on all the musical marches he composed. In this concert presentation, the AWS presents a new spin on two of Sousa’s more popular marches “The Thunderer” and “Fairest of the Fair.” What makes this unique is that film orchestrator Ira Hearshen has taken the melodies and made each a segment of a multi-movement work “Symphony on Themes of John Philip Sousa.” The famous marches are adapted into various musical styles. Imagine a Sousa march sounding like a Mahler symphony. That is a sampling of the imagery the works present.

While “Fairest of the Fair” depicts a beautiful young lady, “Inglesina” is a symphonic march subtitled “The Little English Girl.” This composition was written in 1871. The composer, Davide delle Cese, was an Italian band leader and wrote the work in the style of Italian marches.

“Florentiner March” (Grande marcia Italiana) was written in 1907 by Czech composer Julius Fucik. The title gives homage to Florence, Italy. In a contrasting style, AWS presents “Marchissimo” by Englishman Philip Sparke. This upbeat work is three marches in one, with each melody featuring a different section of the band.

As previously mentioned, this concert also features the winning ensembles from the annual Ensemble competition. While most of the high school musicians march on the football field during the fall school semester, now is their time to shine and display their small group musicianship.

What: March On

When: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 1, 2018

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

Tickets: $10 plus service fees; K-12 students $7; children under 6 years free. Tickets are available at the TCA Box Office or through

Now in its 17th 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.”

Future dates for this season are Thursday, April 12, and Friday, April 27.