Feature Articles

Army Band Woodwind Quintet Tours Florida

Feb 16, 2012

By SSG Meredeth Rouse, The U.S. Army Concert Band

The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" Woodwind Quintet set off for Sarasota, FL earlier this month to perform a series of concerts and master classes in the South Florida area. The group was joined by MSG (ret) Joseph Holt on piano. Dr. Holt was the principal pianist for The U.S. Army Chorus for 20 years, and now resides in Sarasota where he is Artist-in-Residence at Faith Lutheran Church and Artistic Director of Gloria Musicae.

The quintet's first master class was presented for music majors at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota at Bradenton. With over 40 students in attendance, the quintet performed several short selections and went on to discuss and answer questions about careers in the Army Bands program.

Next on the itinerary were two educational outreach programs at the Sarasota Military Academy, where the quintet enjoyed an enthusiastic response from 800 high school cadets and faculty. A commemorative plaque was presented to the group on behalf of the Academy by the Cadet Regimental Commander, Ben Leboutielliere. Following the performance at the Sarasota Military Academy, the group traveled back to the State College of Florida, this time for a recital in the Neel Performing Arts Center.

The following evening the quintet performed for a standing room only audience at Faith Lutheran Church in Sarasota. Traveling to Boca Grande, FL, the quintet made a final appearance at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, where the number of attendees so exceeded church capacity that a video feed was made available to audience members in an adjacent room.

Among the repertoire selected for this tour were pieces by Paul Hindemith, Gy├Ârgy Ligeti, Astor Piazzolla, Albert Roussel, and Theodor Blumer. As an encore, the group performed an arrangement of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America."

The Woodwind Quintet includes MSG Barbara Vigil, flute, SFC Donald Hoffman, clarinet, SFC Max Wharton, bassoon, SSG Aaron Cockson, horn, and SSG Meredeth Rouse, oboe. The group will be on the road once again at the end of March, this time to Illinois, with performances scheduled in Urbana (March 27), Macomb (March 28), Normal (March 29), and Bloomington (March 30).

A complete list of venues and performance times can be found by visiting www.usarmyband.com/event-calendar.html