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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

I was lucky enough to play in the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble under both John Paynter and Mallory Thompson.  Those performances rank as some of my most cherished in my career.  The level of musicianship that was demanded of me by both conductors as well as the colleagues I was surrounded by was intense and exhilarating.

Filling the shoes of John Paynter, an absolute legend in the band world, was no easy task.  Mallory Thompson stepped in from day one as if that job had been waiting for her all along.  She remains one of the most rewarding conductors I have ever played for.  Nothing gets past her ears.  Nothing.

This is a fantastic recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" arranged by Donald Hunsberger.  As with all great university wind ensembles of this caliber, it is hard to believe these are college kids.  And Mallory Thompson's interpretation is, as always, spot on.

Enjoy!