Arizona Wind Symphony begins new season

The Arizona Wind Symphony

The Arizona Wind Symphony

The Arizona Wind Symphony kicks off its 15th year of delighting audiences with its opening concert, A Decade of Remembrance – Conflict and Exploration of the ‘60s. The performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4 at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. The musical selections will take the audience on a journey through the peace, war and love of this turbulent decade.

Conflict played a big part of the ‘60s, much of it stemming from the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Black Granite is a march dedicated to the men and women who gave their lives in Vietnam. The march was inspired by the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., which is constructed of black granite and contains engraved names of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The military theme continues with the Halls of Honor by David Gorham. The piece salutes the armed forces and was premiered by the U.S. Army Band in the state of Arkansas. Rolling Thunder is a march written by Henry Fillmore, second only to John Philip Sousa as a popular march composer. Although this piece was written in 1916, the U.S. Air Force had an operation in the Vietnam War that was called Rolling Thunder. The medley from Miss Saigon is a musical adaptation of the Broadway production based on Madame Butterfly and set in Saigon during the war, with a doomed romance between an American GI and a Vietnamese bar girl.

The AWS welcomes guest conductor Robert Fleming, best known from his tenure as director of the ASU Sun Devil Marching band. Mr. Fleming will lead the band in Resplendent Glory, a work written by Rossano Galante, who was born in the ‘60s and writes extensively for film. The stage presentation will also include a video saluting those who have defended our country.

Americans were glued to their televisions in 1969 as man stepped foot on the moon. For saluting space exploration, the AWS presents Shooting Stars, a work by Richard Saucedo, and Mars from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

The ‘60s also brought the British band, The Beatles, to the U.S. AWS salutes the Fab Four in a medley featuring familiar melodies of Because, Eleanor Rigby, Hey Jude and more.

What: A Decade of Remembrance

When: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Where: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway

Tickets: $9 plus service fees; K-12 students $6; children under 6 years free. Tickets are available at the TCA Box Office or through

Now in its 15th season, the Arizona Wind Symphony is under the musical direction of William J. Richardson. It has grown to be a 95-piece concert band comprised of adults whose careers cover a broad range including teaching, health care, music professionals, computer science, and many more. The common thread among the band members is to present music of the highest caliber. The group is a Tempe-based non-profit organization, funded in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the City of Tempe. You can find more information and the full 2015-2016 concert dates at Follow the Arizona Wind Symphony on Facebook by searching for Arizona Wind Symphony.