May 18, 2009 — Reflections, part of Naxos’ acclaimed Wind Band Classics series, is a recording of two recently commissioned works – David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 3 and Thomas Sleeper’s Trumpet Concerto, both performed by the Frost Wind Ensemble at the University of Miami under the direction of Gary Green, and featuring trumpeter Craig Morris. The recording is part of a partnership between Naxos and the University of Miami, wherein the label will contribute one dollar to the school’s University of Miami Front School Scholarship Fund for every CD purchased through Naxos Direct (www.naxosdirect.com). Through the partnership, Naxos will also provide marketing resources to help promote and sell the recording.
Thomas Sleeper enjoys a dual career as composer and conductor. His music has been described as “richly lyrical,” and includes three operas, four concertos, an orchestral suite and three orchestral song cycles. His Trumpet Concerto was written for conductor Gary Green and soloist Craig Morris, both of whom perform it on this recording.
David Maslanka has written a wide variety of chamber, orchestral and choral pieces, but it is his works for winds and percussion for which he is particularly well known. Of his Symphony No. 3, the composer has written: “The impetus for this piece was in part my leaving university life and moving from New York City to the Rocky Mountains of western Montana…Animal and Indian spirits still echo strongly in this land, and these elements have found their way into my music.”
The Frost Wind Ensemble at the University of Miami consists of the University’s finest wind and percussion players, and performs for numerous concerts, conferences and festivals throughout the season. Actively commissioning new music for the repertoire, the ensemble has offered world premieres for such composers as Charles Campbell, Clarke McCallister, Michael Colgrass and James Syler. The Frost Wind Ensemble is committed to developing and maintaining relationships with the leading musical minds of the times, resulting in recent residences by such notable musicians as James Syler, Eric Whitacre and David Maslanka. The ensemble has released four critically acclaimed recordings on the Albany Records label, and former members currently hold positions in symphony orchestras and military bands and serve as teachers and conductors throughout the world.
Craig Morris is currently the professor of trumpet at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music, where he devotes himself to his teaching and his career as a soloist and chamber musician. He has been a prominent orchestral musician, most notably holding the prestigious post of Principal Trumpet in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He came to Chicago from the San Francisco Symphony, where he held the position of Associate Principal for three years. He has also been a member of the Dallas Brass, an international touring brass quintet, and was Principal Trumpet of the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra, Opera and Ballet. He has been featured as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and at Festival Miami.
The Naxos Wind Band Classics series is devoted to presenting the best in symphonic band music, performed by international wind ensembles such as the Winds of the London Symphony Orchestra, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, the Toronto Wind Orchestra and the United States Marine Band. The series also features performances by some of the finest university wind ensembles in the United States. Recordings include world premieres as well as arrangements of well-known popular works from the classical repertoire. The Wind Band Classics series is an essential set for collectors and fans of band music.
Naxos reaffirms its commitment to education with every sale of a Wind Band Classics recording. For every recording by a participating university purchased through Naxos Direct (http://www.naxosdirect.com), the label will donate one dollar to the school’s scholarship of choice. In addition, Naxos will provide the school’s alumni association with them marketing tools and resources to help promote and sell the university’s Wind Band Classics recording. The majority of colleges and universities that have released recordings in this series are participating in the program.
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