DePauw Band's Fifth CD, Toccata Festiva, is Released; Listen to Samples
January 4, 2005
January 4, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - The University Band members really shine on this recording,” says Craig T. Paré, associate professor of music at DePauw University of the DePauw Band's new compact disc, Toccata Festiva. Dr. Paré, who directs and conducts the band, adds, “I believe it is the most talented and best prepared ensemble I have ever conducted here at DePauw.”
Few university bands can regularly produce compact discs of their work, and DePauw is the only undergraduate university that has an ongoing CD recording project that features regular recording sessions and CD releases. Toccata Festiva features 52 student musicians and two DePauw School of Music faculty members. It is the DePauw Band's fifth CD in the last eight years. (Listen to a sample of Make A Joyful Noise, composed by adjunct professor of music James A. Beckel Jr.: [Download Audio: "Make A Joyful Noise" - 260kb])
DePauw Band students, who include both music majors and liberal arts majors, must devote a great deal of time and energy to the CD project throughout the year. "Band musicians -- both current students and alumni -- tell me that their practice and preparation for the literature we record is some of the most demanding of their careers, and one of their most satisfying musical experiences," Paré said. "The CD Recording Project brings a unique dimension to a DePauw University education that no other experience can offer students. It is not only a contributor to wind literature, but also an educational tool in the development of fine musicians."
[Download Audio: "Magneticfireflies" - 261kb]The demanding effort is paying off, with the CD being picked up for international distribution by the Mark Masters label. "This Mark Masters series includes releases that have been honored with eligibility for more than 65 Grammy nominations in the past seven years -- more than any other classical label in the world," Mark J. Morette, president of Mark Custom Recording Service, Inc., said.
With that designation, the DePauw Band is included with such renowned professional ensembles as The Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra from the Czech Republic, Tokyo Kosei Wind Ensemble, U.S. Air Force Band and U.S. Marine Band.
The DePauw Band's latest CD is a total DePauw effort. Carla G. Edwards, professor of music and University organist, is the organ soloist for the title piece, "Toccata Festiva," which she plays on the University's new J. Stanford Smith Concert Organ. It is the first recording of this magnificent instrument. James Beckel, adjunct professor of music, arranged the title piece, and his composition, "Make a Joyful Noise," is the first track on the disc. [Download Audio: "Toccata Festiva" - 260kb]
For faculty members, Paré said the CD provides an opportunity to "showcase their artistic talents and gifts in a recording that will be distributed around the world and heard by a wide range of students, teachers and casual listeners. It demonstrates how talented and creative the School of Music faculty are." He adds, "I am terribly proud of this CD. Besides the tremendous performance by the University Band, it is also an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to make music with two of my esteemed colleagues, Carla Edwards and Jim Beckel. To know that DePauw University supports, encourages, and welcomes such distinctive artistic and musical endeavors such as the CD recording project, makes me proud to teach and conduct here. And finally, the honor of being named to the Mark Masters recording label is truly a testament to the quality teaching and music-making that takes place here at DePauw on a regular basis."
An additional DePauw touch is that the compact disc's cover features a painting, Ancestral Spirit Dance #293, by Willis "Bing" Davis '57.
For more information about the new CD, e-mail Paré by clicking here.
The first four CDs by the DePauw Band were titled Shadows of Eternity, Timepieces, Airs & Dances, and Wind Journey. To learn more about the DePauw School of Music, click here.