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Symphonic Wind Ensemble releases first CD

Posted on September 14, 2016

Following months of rehearsals and recording and editing sessions, Grand Valley's Symphonic Wind Ensemble is now searchable in iTunes. The ensemble's first CD, "Under Western Skies," is available in commercial retail stores and through online music outlets.

Directed by Kevin Tutt, professor of music, "Under Western Skies" features newly composed music for trumpet and wind ensemble. The CD not only spotlights the 53-member student ensemble, but also guest conductor Lowell Graham, retired U.S. Air Force Band commander and conductor, and trumpet soloists Richard Stoelzel and Rex Richardson.

Danny Phipps, Music and Dance Department chair, stressed the rarity of this kind of experience for undergraduate students.

"Our undergraduate students were able to experience first-hand what it means to be in a professional recording session with Klavier Music Productions, a company that prides itself on achieving the most faithful reproduction of a live performance—something only a handful of music students across the country can boast," Phipps said.

Angela Schmitt, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble's pianist of three years, believes the success of the CD is a testament to outstanding student abilities paired with excellent faculty guidance.

"A project of this magnitude is only possible when both the professor and the students are positive and willing to collaborate, adjust and move forward together to get work done," said Schmitt, a senior majoring in music education. "Full days of recording and rehearsing are not easy, but with the positive attitude of the ensemble, helpful staff and student workers, and Dr. Tutt's kind, but determined leadership, we have this tangible product that speaks volumes to the ability of the students and selfless Music and Dance Department faculty."

"Under Western Skies" can be downloaded via iTunes at http://gvsu.edu/s/0fG