5658110211_c68a198403_mThe Winona State Department of Music will present the Seventh Annual Gala Weekend Friday, April 24, through Sunday, April 26, in the Vivian R. Fusillo Main Stage Theatre in the Performing Arts Center.

The Music Gala Weekend will welcome back guest composer and WSU alumnus Jake Runestad, who will present a lecture on music composition at noon Friday, April 24, in the PAC Recital Hall, as part of the WSU Lyceum Series.  Runestad has received commissions and performances from such leading ensembles as Seraphic Fire, the Louisiana Philharmonic OrchestraVocalEssence, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cincinnati Vocal Arts EnsembleCantus, and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.

The first performance of the weekend will feature the WSU Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Rich MacDonald, at 7:30 p.m. April 24. The 18-member student ensemble will perform: “The Groove Merchant” by Thad Jones, “Little Shoes” and “Chromazone” by guitarist Mike Stern, “Aja” arranged by Alan Broadbent for the Woody Herman Orchestra, “Home” by Runestad, and “Secret Love” arranged by Frank Mantooth.

The Gala continues with the WSU Chamber Orchestra conducted by Paul Vance at 3 p.m. April 25. The performance will include: “Il Turco in Italia Overture” by Rossini, Handel’s “Concerto Grosso,” “Symphony No. 1” by Dittersdorf, Mozart’s “Impresario Overture,” and Haydn’s “March for the Royal Society of Musicians.”

At 7:30 p.m. April 25, the WSU Concert Choir and Women’s Chorus will take the stage, directed by Harry Mechell. Among many other compositions featured will be three pieces written by Runestad: “Nyon, Nyon,” “I Will Lift Mine Eyes,” and “Sing, Wearing the Sky.” Admission is $10 for adults, and free for seniors, WSU employees, and WSU students with student ID.

The last concert of the Gala Weekend will feature the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Donald Lovejoy, at 2 p.m. April 26. The performance will include: “Black Granite” by James Hosay; “Sonata for Alto Saxophone” by Robert Muczynski, featuring student soloist Joshua Klein; “Council Oak” by David Gillingham; and “I Will Lift Mine Eyes” and “Catalyst” by Runestad.

All concerts are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. WSU music alumni will join performances throughout the weekend.

For more information, contact Rich MacDonald at 507-457-5259.

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Emily Dean

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