The Penn Central Wind Band, under the direction of Bucknell Professor of Music William Kenny, will celebrate its silver anniversary season with a free concert on Friday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Bucknell’s Weis Center for the Performing Arts.
“The music we’ll be performing represents the varied styles that the band has been playing for the past 25 years, including favorite marches, cornerstone works for band, masterworks transcriptions, and some music that is really just fun to play and to hear,” said Kenny, who is also chair of the University faculty.
The band is an all-volunteer band comprised of professional musicians and music teachers that Bucknell sponsors as a service to the region. Many of the performers reside in local communities such as Lewisburg, Williamsport, Bloomsburg and Selinsgrove. Others come from outside the region in such communities as State College, Hershey, Wernersville and Portsmouth, Va.
“At the risk of sounding clichéd, this band feels like family,” Kenny said. “It’s great to do this work with members of my immediate family, too.”
Kenny’s wife, Amy, a music teacher in Selinsgrove, plays flute in the band, while their daughter, Grace — a senior violin performance major at St. Olaf (Minn.) College — will be featured soloist on The Hot Canary for violin and band.
Other works on the program include Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, recognizing the centennial of Bernstein’s birth, as well as masterworks by Percy Grainger, J.S. Bach and John Philip Sousa.
A mini-documentary about the band titled“WhyBand” will be played during the performance. The documentary was produced by 2nd Story Stories in Danville,
The Penn Central Wind Band is one of a few ensembles to have been awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll, granted by the John Philip Sousa Foundation “recognizing community and adult concert bands of outstanding musical excellence.” Other honors include invitations to perform for the conference of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and the national convention of the Association of Concert Bands.