Award-winning Houston-based ensemble performs for Silo students

Houston-based WindSync performed at Silo on Tuesday. Photo by Jeremy Blackwood.

By Joey McWilliams

SILO – Silo students grades 4-12 were treated to fun and impressive music from artists who were in Bryan County as part of the Southeastern Musical Arts Series.

WindSync, a Houston-based quintet, played for 325 students at Silo on Tuesday afternoon, before their full concert on campus at SE.

It was the second Musical Arts Series performance of the season and also the second performance of the season for WyndSync, who tours nationally.

Southeastern coordinator of the Musical Arts Series, Dr. Jeremy Blackwood, said the performance at Silo was fantastic and spoke about how it falls into the program’s vision.

“The mission of the program is to bring world-class performances by professional artists to this community, to Southeastern and to the region,” Blackwood said. “As part of that, it is to give our community access – you know, it’s not very easy maybe to get to Dallas or to get to Oklahoma City – to experience fine arts in this capacity.

WindSync at Southeastern. Photo provided by Jeremy Blackwood.

“Along with that is the opportunity for these artists to also go do programs in public schools. They do a modified version of what they’re going to do in the concerts featured on campus, the public performance.”

The 2017-2018 season began with a vocal concert by mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin on Sept. 14. She visited the Durant High School choir department the day before to sing for the students.

This week’s featured group, WindSync, is a Gold Medalist in the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and has performed throughout the country, including being at  New York’s Carnegie Hall, and around the world.

Southeastern’s Musical Arts Series was started by the late Dr. James Wintle in 1974 and is now in its 44th season. Blackwood said getting into the schools is important for growing arts awareness in the community.

“The artists may do instrument demonstrations,” Blackwood said. “Or they may do some fun routines to introduce the students to the world of classical music, because that may not be what (the students) are used to. They may not hear it as much at home.

“So when the artists come, they usually have a performance at the public school and they will have a master class opportunity that is open to the public, so they can work with students at the university and then they’re exposing a world of music to young students – some who may or may not have ever heard a particular instrument that is played.

“This is kind of true with this past week’s performance with Wind Sync. These students were in arts programming or in some of the classrooms where they do arts. But that school does not have a band program. So they do have necessarily the exposure to hear the flute, the oboe, the clarinet, the horn or the bassoon. To hear a wind quintet is just fantastic.”

Blackwood said the performance at Silo was well-attended and that WindSync received a standing ovation, which was followed by an encore. He said also the performance will be broadcast later.

“Their performance will be aired on KUCO, a Performance Oklahoma broadcast. We don’t know when it is going to be scheduled yet, but it will probably be in November. They will let me know as soon as they schedule it. The word gets out on what we’re doing with those broadcasts.”

Next on the schedule for the Musical Arts Series is pianist, Solungga Liu. The public concert will be on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. All concerts are free to the public.

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