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Leonard Bernstein’s music to be heard Friday

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By Special to the Monitor

At 7 p.m. Friday in Duane Smith Auditorium, the Los Alamos Community Winds launches its 10th Anniversary Season with “The Music of Leonard Bernstein.”

There is much in store at the LACW concerts this year. In addition to presenting the usual variety of challenging literature, including a performance of the “Firebird Suite” by Igor Stravinsky, the repertoire for this season will reach back into the archives of the LACW’s library.

“The members were given the opportunity to pick the pieces that they would most like to perform again from the past nine seasons,” Los Alamos Community Winds musical director Ted Vives said.

During these years, LACW has performed nearly

50 concerts and more than 240 different works. If you add up the time spent rehearsing and performing, this represents an estimated 50,000 individual hours of dedication that its members have committed over the past 10 years.

“It’s truly amazing,” Vives said. “We have played every genre of music; marches, orchestral standards, movie themes, seasonal favorites; the dedication of the members to continually produce outstanding performances is one of the many things that I am both proud of them for and humbled by.”

Another unique quality of LACW is its willingness to present new music to the community, sometimes in the form of premier performances. As an example, local composer James Beinke’s “Little Mesa March” received its first ever performance at this year’s July 4 celebration at Overlook Park.

The Los Alamos Community Winds has featured many local performers as soloists. In particular, the LACW has featured student performers as part of its series of Student Concerto Competitions. Many of these young people have gone on to further their careers in music by studying it in college.

Friday evening’s concert will also feature Rodney Dorsey, associate director of bands at the University of Michigan as guest conductor on “Candide Suite” by Leonard Bernstein

“This is the first time we have had a guest conductor, and are thrilled that we could bring someone of this caliber to work with the ensemble,” Vives said.

In addition to the “Candide Suite,” the concert will feature Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from ‘West Side Story,” “Irish Tune from County Derry and Shepherd’s Hey” by Percy Grainger, “Blue Shades” by Frank Ticheli and both the “First Suite in E-flat” and  “Second Suite in F for Military Band” by Gustav Holst.

Friday’s performance is a tribute concert and is part of the Eighth  Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days — a global network of concerts that uses the universal language of music to diminish hatred, respect differences and reach out in global friendship.

Daniel Pearl, the journalist and musician kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan was a classically-trained violinist, as well as a fiddler and mandolin player who joined musical groups wherever he traveled.

World Music Days commemorates his Oct. 10 birthday and carries on his mission of connecting diverse people through words and music.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free. A

$10 donation per guest is graciously requested.