The Cal Poly Wind Ensemble was one of only eight bands selected from 11 states to participate in the 2020 College Band Directors National Association Western/Northwestern Division Conference from March 18-21 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.
The Wind Ensemble is comprised of 56 wind, brass and percussion musicians from every college on campus. Members are selected by competitive auditions held twice a year.
Though the host organization needed to cancel the conference, the show did go on, in a fashion, at Cal Poly for the Wind Bands' March 8 Winter Concert. Titled “Winds of Change,” music Professor Antonio G. Barata composed a work with the same name that had its premiere. Guest soloist and Cal Poly flute instructor Suzanne Duffy performed Stephen Bulla’s “Rhapsody for Flute” with the group, which concluded its set with Frank Ticheli’s “Blue Shades.”
The Cal Poly Wind Orchestra performed music by John Philip Sousa, plus works from the expanded wind band repertoire, including Aaron Perrine’s “Tears of St. Lawrence” and Steven Bryant’s “The Machine Awakes.” The Chamber Winds completed Robert Kurka’s “Good Soldier Schweik Suite,” the first part of which the group performed at the Bandfest concert in November. In keeping with Cal Poly's Learn by Doing philosophy, the students performed the piece without a conductor. The larger works on the program were conducted by Christopher J. Woodruff and Nicholas P. Waldron.