The air is getting crisp, the tea kettle is on the stove, and there are snowflakes in the forecast…this can only mean one thing: It is time to get ready for the annual Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra in Chicago. This year Black Tea Music will be bringing along great wind ensemble works from our wide-ranging roster of composers.  Here’s a sampling of what we have to offer:

Denis Levaillant’s Pachamama Symphony unites his unique blend of jazz and pop rhythmic language with the orchestral colors of his decidedly Parisian palette. Originally premiered in February 2016 in his native Paris by La Musique des gardiens de la paix, conducted by Gildas Harnois , Levaillant’s wind ensemble piece pays tribute to the indigenous music of Bolivia, and it is available for US premiere. For further details, please inquire!

Inspired by her love of the Perseids meteor showers that occur every July and August, Alexandra Gardner’s wind ensemble work, Perseids begins as a quiet meditation on the awe-inspiring power of this celestial phenomena. The work grows into an exuberant celebration that makes it the perfect opener for your Spring concert season.

Bringing her trademark wit and iconoclastic sensibilities to the wind ensemble world, Ruby Fulton’s Junk Pop, is a fresh work that alternates between her signature rhythmic sense and more meditative sections that acts as a moving and sensitive portrait of the graffiti artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat.

A stylistic fanfare that originally premiered at Lincoln Center, Drew Hemeger’s Manhattan Flourish with lyrical trumpets, trilling winds, and jazzy syncopation that ultimately builds into a big, rousing finale that lives up to its flourishing title. Open your concert with this bright and jazzy work!

A short work that was recognized by the National Band Association’s Young Composer Mentor Project in 2012, Chris Cresswell’s Nocturne No. 1 for Winds is a brief, but colorful exploration of the wind ensemble’s possibilities. A transcription of his piano work, the piece highlights the dark colors of the wind ensemble while bringing out American folk melodies.

Veteran composer-percussionist Michael Udow has been steadily contributing to the wind ensemble catalog . A renowned percussionist and educator, Udow’s expertise in the instruments is on full display in his concerto for timpani and wind ensemble, Apparition, a tribute to Dmitri Shostakovich and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Michael Gilbertson, currently the composer in residence with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, has written several works for wind ensemble. His 2007 work, Vigil, was inspired by the Russian vespers services and has been arranged for wind ensemble. The 2012 wind ensemble version was premiered and recorded by the Ohio State University Wind Symphony, conducted by Russ C. Mikkelson. More information here.