Savannah Winds Celebrates 35th Anniversary

Savannah Winds Celebrates 35 Years

(Feb. 20, 2013) In celebration of its 35th anniversary, the Savannah Winds community wind symphony-in-residence in Armstrong's Department of Art, Music & Theatre (AMT), is throwing itself a party in the form of a public concert, Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Armstrong's Fine Arts Auditorium, 11935 Abercorn St.

Joining Savannah Winds music director Mark Johnson, former Winds conductors Stephen Brandon (1973-84), Michael Campbell (1984-89), and James Anderson (1990-92, 96-97) will return to the podium for an evening of music and memories celebrating 35 years of concerts in Savannah and the Coastal Empire. The concert will also include a special memorial tribute to conductors Ed Caughran (1992-93) and William Keith (1993-95).

Johnson has constructed a spirited program of brilliant overtures, traditional marches, and triumphant concert pieces worthy of the band's milestone celebration. Music includes “Crescent Moon Grand Overture” by Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost, “Sketches on a Tudor Psalm” by Fisher Tull, and “At Kitty O'Shea's” by Johan de Meij.

Savannah Winds was born from Armstrong's long tradition of music education, which has grown with the university. In 1977 then-director Stephen Brandon invited members of the community to join the preexisting college band and expand its instrumentation. He brought in talented high school musicians, members of the erstwhile Savannah Symphony Orchestra, and Fort Stewart band musicians to form the full symphony. This community partnership with Armstrong AMT has flourished and now involves some 100 members.

When asked of the significance of the Winds' role in Savannah's musical landscape, Johnson said, "Savannah Winds has earned a reputation in the community for performing high-quality concerts. We provide vast opportunity for musicians from all walks of life to perform. This year our membership includes, amongst others, retired military officers, band directors, medical technicians, and select students."

As a testament to the Winds' caliber, the Savannah Music Festival invited them to perform in March 2012 as part of its internationally recognized concert series. The concert, titled “American Band Classics,” featured a reprisal of English composer Philip Sparke's “A Savannah Symphony,” which he wrote in honor of Armstrong's 75 anniversary in 2010.

Savannah Winds – Celebrating 35 Years
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Armstrong Fine Arts Auditorium
11935 Abercorn St.

Regular general admission: Only $14. Discounts available.
Armstrong students admitted free w/Pirate Card.

Call 912.344.2801 from noon to 3 p.m., weekdays, for ticketing information.

For Armstrong AMT program or department information, please call 912.344.2556.