Indiana Wind Symphony hosts ‘Springtime Celebration’


As Charles Conrad conducts his penultimate concert as the Indiana Wind Symphony music director, it’s fitting that a new piece of music pays homage to his legacy.

“There is a piece in honor of the fact that I founded the Wind Symphony 27 years ago and the composer David Sartor is going to be conducting,” Conrad said. “We’ve played several of his works and we got a chance to premiere a couple of them.”

The piece called “Vision” by Sartor, from Nashville, Tenn., will premiere in “Springtime Celebration” at 6:30 p.m. April 28 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

“It’s got a mixture of different styles and different textures,” Conrad said of the program.

Conrad is conducting eight pieces while Jay Gephart, who takes over as music director for the 2024-25 season, will conduct three pieces. Gephart is the director of the Purdue University All-American Marching Band. Conrad is retiring after this season and Gephart will inherit Conrad’s role.

Conrad said composer Mark Wolfram will be in the audience for his piece “Vertical Planes,” which will feature solos by Larry Purdue, French horn; Brian Hoover, trumpet; Mike Villano, trombone; and Bill Schmidt, tuba.

“Mark is an old, old friend of mine,” Conrad said. “We were both in the Disneyland All-American College Band.”

Wolfram has created music for the concert stage, TV programs, Broadway shows and jazz and pop recording artists.

The IWS concert opens with one being Frank Panella’s march called “The Polar Sun” from 1908. Another march played is a German piece called “The Sun Eagle.”

Conrad said the pieces were played by IWS April 8 during the City of Carmel Solar Eclipse program.

Two 1924 marches by John Philip Sousa are in the first half of the concert. They are “Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company” and “Marquette University March.”

Other pieces include “Rain Softly on Me” by Julie Giroux, and one by French composer Lili Boulanger.

The IWS will close its season May 19 with “Finales and Fanfare.”

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