symphonic band Tuesday, October 3, 2023 • 7:30 pm • UNCG Auditorium


Alton Adams

Composed: 1921


Alton Adams

Alton Augustus Adams, born in the Virgin Islands in 1889, remains an iconic figure there. When the United States took over the islands in 1917, the new governor appointed Adams chief musician. The band that Adams assembled entered the U.S. Navy as a unit, making Adams the first Black bandmaster to serve in the U.S. Navy.

The Governor’s Own March was written for the Naval Governor Joseph W. Oman and was included in the first American bicentennial series on America music.

Bridge to manhattan

Elena Specht (b. 1993)

Composed: 2019

Bridge to manhattan

Elena Specht

Elena Specht is an American composer and educator. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from Michigan State University where she studied with David Biedenbender. She is visiting assistant professor of music at Kalamazoo College, where she teaches music in theory and music appreciation.

About Bridge to Manhattan, Specht writes,

"Bridge to Manhattan was inspired by a trip I took across the George Washington Bridge in December 2018. This same bridge is the subject of William Schuman’s George Washington Bridge, a piece for concert band he composed in 1950. Crossing the George Washington Bridge is perhaps among the most chaotic driving experiences a person can have, as many lanes of traffic coming from multiple directions converge into a few lanes so countless people can cross from New Jersey into New York City. Constructed between 1927 and 1931, the bridge is the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world. In Schuman’s time, though certainly busy, the bridge was different: it saw less traffic, and a lower deck for additional lanes was added in the 1960s. After crossing the bridge, I chose to write a piece about my experience with the George Washington Bridge: the slow merging of traffic from each direction, inching forward through a sea of cars, struggling to change lanes, all while entering one of the largest cities in the world."

Note by Kristin Arp


Omar Thomas (b. 1984)

Composed: 2019


Omar Thomas

"Shenandoah" is one of the most well-known and beloved Americana folk songs. Originally a river song detailing the lives and journeys of fur traders canoeing down the Missouri River, the symbolism of this culturally significant melody has been expanded to include its geographic namesake—an area of the eastern United States that encompasses West Virginia and a good portion of the western part of Virginia—and various parks, rivers, counties, and academic institutions found within.

Back in May of 2018, after hearing a really lovely duo arrangement of "Shenandoah" while adjudicating a music competition in Minneapolis, I asked myself, after hearing so many versions of this iconic and historic song, how would I set it differently? I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it, and before I realized it, I had composed and assembled just about all of this arrangement in my head by assigning bass notes to the melody and filling in the harmony in my head afterwards. I would intermittently check myself on the piano to make sure what I was imagining worked and ended up changing almost nothing at all from what I’d heard in my mind’s ear.

This arrangement recalls the beauty of Shenandoah Valley, not bathed in golden sunlight, but blanketed by low-hanging clouds and experiencing intermittent periods of heavy rainfall (created with a combination of percussion textures, generated both on instruments and from the body). There are a few musical moments where the sun attempts to pierce through the clouds, but ultimately the rains win out. This arrangement of "Shenandoah" is at times mysterious, somewhat ominous, constantly introspective, and deeply soulful.

Note by composer



Eric Ewazen (b. 1954)

Composed: 2004



Eric Ewazen

Eric Ewazen is an American composer and educator and a current faculty member at The Juilliard School. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Juilliard. His teachers included Milton Babbitt, Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Joseph Schwantner and Gunther Schuller.

Danzante was commissioned by Western/Northwestern division of the College Band Directors National Association and premiered by Allen Vizzutti, trumpet in March 2004.

give us this day

David Maslanka (1943–2017)

Composed: 2005

give us this day

David Maslanka

The words “Give us this day” are, of course, from the Lord’s Prayer, but the inspiration for this music is Buddhist. I have recently read a book by the Vietnamese Bhuddist monk Thich Nhat Hahn (pronounced “Tick Nat Hahn”) entitled For a Future to be Possible. His premise is that a future for the planet is only possible if individuals become deeply mindful of themselves, deeply connected to who they really are. While this is not a new idea, and something that is an ongoing struggle for everyone, in my estimation it is the issue for world peace. For me, writing music, and working with people to perform music, are two of those points of deep mindfulness.

Music makes the connection to reality, and by reality I mean a true awakeness and awareness. Give Us This Day gives us this very moment of awakeness and awareness so that we can build a future in the face of a most dangerous and difficult time.

I chose the subtitle, “Short Symphony for Wind Ensemble,” because the music is not programmatic in nature. It has a full-blown symphonic character, even though there are only two movements. The music of the slower first movement is deeply searching, while that of the highly energized second movement is at times both joyful and sternly sober. The piece ends with a modal setting of the choral melody “Vater Unser in Himmelreich” (Our Father in Heaven) – No. 110 from the 371 four-part chorales by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Note by the composer

Jonathan caldwell

Dr. Jonathan Caldwell is director of bands and assistant professor of conducting at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting. Prior to his appointment at UNCG, Caldwell held positions at Virginia Tech, the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, and Garner Magnet High School (Garner, NC).

Ensembles under Caldwell’s guidance have performed for the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the National Band Association–Wisconsin Chapter, and in Carnegie Hall. His writings have been published in the Journal of Band Research and the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series. His book, Original Études for the Developing Conductor, was published in 2023 and awarded “Highly Commended” in the inaugural Impact Award category by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (UK). Caldwell has given presentations for the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the College Band Directors National Association, the Internationale Gesellschaft zur Erforschung und Förderung der Blasmusik (IGEB), and music educator conferences in North Carolina and Virginia.

Caldwell received a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of Michigan and a Master of Music in instrumental conducting from the University of Maryland, College Park. He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Music in performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Caldwell’s conducting teachers include Michael Haithcock, Michael Votta, Jerry Schwiebert, James Ross, and Tonu Kalam. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Alpha Rho), Tau Beta Sigma (Beta Eta), Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi.

kristin arp

Kristin Arp is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in instrumental conducting at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with Dr. Jonathan Caldwell. At UNCG, she teaches courses in undergraduate conducting and directs the UNCG Concert Band. Prior to UNCG, she taught middle and high school band in Tennessee for six years.

Kristin serves as the Assistant Conductor of the Duke Wind Symphony located in Durham, NC. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education and instrumental conducting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she studied with Dr. Donald Ryder and Dr. David Royse. At UT, she conducted the Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, and worked as a Graduate Assistant for the Pride of the Southland Marching Band.


Trumpet artist Garrett Klein has garnered an international reputation for his varied performing career and dedicated teaching. In 2019, he joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina Greensboro as Assistant Professor of Trumpet. He also performs as Principal Trumpet with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.

As a former member of the esteemed Dallas Brass, Klein toured the United States from 2017 to 2022, presenting concerts that captivate audiences with virtuosic playing and engaging showmanship. With Dallas Brass, Klein has presented at top universities and conservatories, performed as soloists with respected large ensembles, and presented at several music educator conferences.

As a versatile musician, Klein performs regularly with a variety of ensembles. He holds the position of Principal Solo Cornet of the North Carolina Brass Band, a British-style brass band based in the Triad region of NC. He has performed around the country with Presidio Brass and the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass. As an orchestral musician, Garrett has performed with the Charlotte Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, The Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. While a student, Garrett spent summers studying at the Aspen Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO.

An active soloist, Klein has performed several solo recitals at venues throughout the country. He has also been a featured soloist with bands at UNC Greensboro, the Minnesota Symphonic Winds, St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Norseman Band, and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra. A proud champion of new music for trumpet, Klein has commissioned several new works for trumpet including a concerto for trumpet and wind ensemble by composer Nathan Hudson. Klein has been invited on several occasions to perform new compositions at the International Trumpet Guild Conference.

Dr. Klein is in demand as an educator, having presented masterclasses for students of all ages across the US and Southeast Asia. Prior to teaching at UNCG, Klein taught at St. Olaf College and Gustavus Adolphus College, both in Minnesota. With an eye to the future of trumpet pedagogy, he has served as an artist, adjudicator, and consultant for the Next Generation Trumpet Competition. He has hosted the National Trumpet Competition at UNCG and served as an adjudicator for the competition. Klein’s latest educational project is a new book of trumpet fundamentals called “Collaborative Practice Routines,” which seeks to promote group practice and ignite a sense of community amongst trumpet students.